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.
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.