PBA Governors' Cup

Magnolia deals Ginebra Christmas Day beating to stay flawless

Delfin Dioquino
Magnolia deals Ginebra Christmas Day beating to stay flawless

PERFECT START. Mike Harris shows the way as Magnolia remains unbeaten in the PBA Governors' Cup.

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Magnolia topples Ginebra on Christmas Day for the first time after dropping their last three meetings on the holiday

MANILA, Philippines – The keenly awaited Christmas Clasico ended up in a blowout as Magnolia coasted to a 117-94 romp over the cold-shooting Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, December 25.

Import Mike Harris showed the way with a monster double-double of 29 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists for the Hotshots, who beat the Gin Kings on Christmas Day for the first time after dropping their last three Yuletide clashes.

Harris waxed hot from the get-go with 13 first-quarter points to help Magnolia build a 29-20 lead, which swelled to as big as 31 points as five Hotshots locals also scored in twin digits.

Paul Lee delivered 20 points for Magnolia before sustaining what appeared to be a groin injury midway through the fourth quarter, Calvin Abueva had 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Jio Jalalon tallied 12 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Jalalon played a crucial role in their breakaway after posting 4 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds in the second quarter alone as the Hotshots enjoyed a 61-42 advantage at halftime.

While Magnolia had its way on offense, Ginebra struggled from the field and missed its first 13 three-point attempts.

It was such a rough shooting night that it took until the fourth quarter for the Gin Kings to finally end their dry spell from deep, with Arvin Tolentino sinking a triple with nine minutes left.

Tolentino drained two more three-pointers to cut their deficit to 17 points, 83-100, with six minutes remaining, but that was the closest Ginebra got as Lee drilled in 5 straight points before his injury.

Mark Barroca added 11 points and 4 assists for the Hotshots, while Ian Sangalang and Rome dela Rosa put up 9 and 8 points, respectively.

With NLEX suffering its first loss in the opener of the Christmas Day doubleheader for a 4-1 record, Magnolia seized the top spot in the team standings with a 3-0 card.

Justin Brownlee finished 21 points and 12 rebounds in the loss as the Gin Kings absorbed their first defeat after a 3-0 start.

The Scores

Phoenix 102 – Wright 23, Chua 19, Banchero 17, Melecio 12, Perkins 10, Jazul 8, Demusis 4, Manganti 2, Harris 2, Garcia 2, Rios 2, Camacho 1, Muyang 0.

NLEX 93 – Oftana 18, Trollano 16, McDaniels 12, Alas 11, Varilla 10, Rosales 8, Paniamogan 8, Quiñahan 6, Cruz 4, Semerad 0.

Quarters: 26-18, 49-43, 72-67, 102-93.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.