PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Bey’s 30-20 game lifts unbeaten Magnolia past San Miguel; Lofton erupts for 54 in Meralco win

Martin Mendoza

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Bey’s 30-20 game lifts unbeaten Magnolia past San Miguel; Lofton erupts for 54 in Meralco win

BIG BATTLE. Magnolia’s Tyler Bey and San Miguel Beer’s Mo Tautuaa battle for ball possession.

PBA IMAGES

Imports Tyler Bey and Zach Lofton put on a show as Magnolia and Meralco score contrasting wins over San Miguel and NorthPort, respectively

MANILA, Philippines – The Magnolia Hotshots stretched their undefeated run to seven games in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after surviving a gutsy challenge from the shorthanded San Miguel Beermen, 94-90, at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday, December 10.

Fresh from a 26-point, 22-rebound performance against the Blackwater Bossing last Wednesday, December 6, Magnolia’s super import Tyler Bey picked up where he left off and recorded another monster double-double of 31 points and 21 rebounds.

James Laput backstopped Bey and made his presence felt inside the paint against the June Mar Fajardo-less Beermen with 14 points and 7 rebounds, while Jio Jalalon delivered a double-double of 11 markers and 11 boards. 

With Magnolia already on top by its largest at 10 points, 90-80, at the 2:38 mark of the fourth quarter, San Miguel refused to give up and unloaded an 8-0 blast, capped by a Jericho Cruz triple, to trim the Beermen’s lead to just a single possession, 90-88.

Aris Dionisio ended Magnolia’s drought with two free throws, before San Miguel import Ivan Aska responded with a quick basket to pull the Beermen back within just 2 points, 92-90, with 8 ticks left.  

Unfortunately for the Beermen, their late-game comeback attempt fell short as Dionisio once again sank two crucial charities in the next play to ice the game for Magnolia. 

Dionisio came up with 10 points, while Mark Barroca also added 10 for the Hotshots.

Aska topscored for San Miguel with 29 points, while Cruz and Mo Tautuaa chipped in 16 and 12, markers respectively.

CJ Perez had a forgettable performance for the Beermen as he scored just 4 points on an awful 1-of-15 clip from the field.   

With its second straight loss, San Miguel, which also played without Terrence Romeo and Jeron Teng due to injuries, dropped to an even 3-3 record. 

Meanwhile, the Meralco Bolts picked up their third straight victory and snapped the NorthPort Batang Pier’s three-game winning streak with a 125-99 blowout win. 

In only his first PBA game, import Zach Lofton wasted no time in putting on a show for the Bolts as he erupted for 54 points on 17-of-29 shooting, including a 9-of-19 clip from beyond the arc.

Lofton already saw action for Meralco in the East Asia Super League (EASL) and was recently brought in to the Commissioner’s Cup to replace Suleiman Braimoh, who suffered an Achilles tear in the Bolts’ 97-94 win over the NLEX Road Warriors last Sunday, December 3.

The 6-foot-4 guard Lofton single-handedly outscored the whole Batang Pier squad in the third quarter, 20-16, to help the Bolts extend a precarious 49-48 halftime edge into a whopping 92-64 cushion at the start of the fourth period. 

Allein Maliksi also came to play for Meralco with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Chris Newsome and Raymond Almazan had 11 markers apiece. 

Rookie guard Fran Yu paced NorthPort with a career-high 31 points, while Arvin Tolentino added 25 on a lowly 8-of-23 field goal clip.

NorthPort import Venky Jois made his return to the lineup after missing the Batang Pier’s previous match due to a hamstring injury, but was held to only 9 points and 9 rebounds in the lopsided affair.

The Bolts moved up to a 5-1 record, while the Batang Pier fell to a 5-3 slate.  

The Scores

First Game

Meralco 125 – Lofton 54, Maliksi 18, Newsome 11, Almazan 11, Banchero 8, Quinto 8, Bates 6, Dario 2, Pasaol 2, Hodge 2, Torres 0, Pascual 0, Rios 0.

NorthPort 99 – Yu 31, Tolentino 25, Calma 10, Jois 9, Paraiso 8, Amores 5, Munzon 5, Chan 2, Caperal 2, Ayaay 2, Taha 0, Salado 0, Flores 0.

Quarters: 16-25, 49-48, 92-64, 125-99.

Second Game

The Scores:

Magnolia 94 – Bey 31, Laput 14, Jalalon 11, Barroca 10, Dionisio 10, Dela Rosa 6, Sangalang 4, Ahanmisi 3, Lee 2, Reavis 2, Tratter 1, Mendoza 0.

San Miguel 90 – Aska 29, Cruz 16, Tautuaa 12, Lassiter 9, Brondial 9, Ross 7, Perez 4, Mallilin 2, Bulanadi 2.

Quarters: 17-19, 44-39, 68-67, 94-90.

– Rappler.com

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