MANILA, Philippines – The Magnolia Hotshots averted a huge upset in the midst of its 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinal bid and escaped in overtime, 121-115, to oust the Terrafirma Dyip from contention at the PhilSports Arena on Saturday, March 4.
Import Antonio Hester spearheaded the Hotshots’ rally from 15 points down midway through the fourth quarter, topping the stat sheet with a monster 40-point, 17-rebound double-double in a near-unstoppable 15-of-21 bully-ball field goal barrage.
Calvin Abueva had one of his best games of the season as well with a big 16-point, 17-rebound, 4-assist line in 33 minutes as Magnolia rose to a 7-4 record off its third straight win. Terrafirma, on the other hand, dropped to its sixth consecutive loss in embarrassing fashion, settling with a 2-8 slate.
Feeding off momentum from a 16-3 rally to force overtime, 110-all, the Hotshots banked on a team-wide effort to clamp down the Dyip’s wheels as both teams went scoreless for nearly half the extra period after a Hester layup for a 114-111 lead at the 2:50 mark.
By the time the scoreboard moved again after a Mark Barroca jumper for a 116-111 separation, Terrafirma only had a minute left to salvage its sorry night, but Andreas Cahilig’s desperation three clanked off with 50 ticks remaining, leading to an Aris Dionisio dagger, 118-111, with just 25 seconds to play.
Barroca and Paul Lee likewise had good outings with 16 points apiece, while Jio Jalalon came close to a triple-double with a 13-point, 9-rebound, 9-assist line for Magnolia.
Terrafirma import Jordan Williams led all scorers in the loss with 45 points on 15-of-24 shooting, albeit with 8 turnovers, while sniper Juami Tiongson filled up the stat sheet with 19 points, 4 boards, 4 dimes, and 4 steals.
Magnolia looks to end the elimination round on a high note as it takes on the lowly Blackwater Bossing on Wednesday, March 8, 3 pm, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. Terrafirma also returns later that day at 5:45 pm for one last upset attempt to the contending Ginebra San Miguel.
Magnolia 121 – Hester 40, Lee 16, Abueva 16, Barroca 16, Jalalon 13, Dionisio 8, Wong 6, Dela Rosa 3, Corpuz 3, Escoto 0, Reavis 0, Laput 0, Mendoza 0.
Terrafirma 115 – Williams 45, Tiongson 19, Camson 11, Cabagnot 10, Ferrer 8, Daquioag 7, Cahilig 5, Gabayni 4, Alolino 2, Calvo 2, Ramos 0.
Quarters: 28-26, 51-50, 74-85, 110-110 (reg.), 121-115 (OT).
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