The Magnolia Hotshots exacted revenge over a previous collapse in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup as they stunned the NLEX Road Warriors with a huge fourth-quarter comeback for a 112-105 double overtime win on Wednesday, September 8.
Calvin Abueva once again filled the stat sheet with 23 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks, while running mate Ian Sangalang powered the bench mob with 21 markers, including 6 in the second extra period that sealed the deal in favor of Magnolia.
Exactly a week after suffering a stunning 94-95 loss to Meralco, the Hotshots engineered a massive comeback of their own, and blazed back from a 16-point deficit in the fourth with a 22-3 run capped by a Calvin Abueva floater, 93-90, at the 2:32 mark.
After a late Mark Barroca steal on a Jericho Cruz isolation play that forced overtime, both teams traded small leads until Aris Dionisio drained a miracle three plus a foul that forced a 104-all tie.
However, he missed the game-winning free throw and putback that forced five more minutes of action.
Sangalang then took over in the second overtime with 6 of the Hotshots’ 8 points, all while helping keep the Road Warriors dead in their tracks with no field goals for the entire period.
Paul Lee also helped Magnolia stay alive with 18 points off a 10-of-13 clip from the free-throw line, albeit with just a 3-of-15 clip from the field alongside it.
“It’s all about grit and determination,” said head coach Chito Victolero in the postgame presser. “I think we were down by 17 in the third quarter. We just tried to be composed.
“All I said was let’s just try to limit our turnovers and at the same time, get the lead to single digits by the fourth quarter. And then we got there little by little because of our determination, because of our hustle.”
With the hard-earned comeback win, Magnolia snapped NLEX’s three-game winning streak, and rose back to solo second place with a 6-2 record. Meanwhile, the Road Warriors settled for fifth place with a 4-3 slate.
Cruz paced the sorry loss for NLEX with 21 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds on 9-of-16 shooting, while Don Trollano and JR Quiñahan sparked the bench with 15 and 14 markers, respectively.
Magnolia will try to gain further momentum towards a possible quarterfinals berth with a win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Friday, September 10, 12:30 pm.
Meanwhile, NLEX will aim for a swift turnaround with a big win over its sister team TNT Tropang Giga that same day at 3 pm.
Magnolia 112 – Abueva 23, Sangalang 21, Lee 18, Barroca 13, Dionisio 11, Corpuz 9, Ahanmisi 6, Jalalon 6, Dela Rosa 2, Pascual 2, Reavis 1, Brill 0.
NLEX 105 – Cruz 21, Trollano 15, Quinahan 14, Porter 13, Semerad 12, Alas 9, Miranda 8, Soyud 7, Oftana 3, Paniamogan 3, Ayonayon 0.
Quarters: 26-29, 49-45, 84-71, 94-94 (reg.), 104-104 (1OT), 112-105 (2OT).