PBA Philippine Cup

Magnolia survives vintage Yap performance, sweeps Rain or Shine

JR Isaga
Magnolia survives vintage Yap performance, sweeps Rain or Shine

MAIN MEN. James Yap and Calvin Abueva (center) figure in a tight battle.

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Calvin Abueva tallies a monster double-double as Magnolia arrests a Rain or Shine comeback behind James Yap

The Magnolia Hotshots once again stayed composed in the endgame as they swept the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 96-86, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Thursday, September 30.

With the win, the third-seeded squad officially clinched a best-of-seven semifinals series against either the second-ranked Meralco Bolts or seventh-placer NLEX Road Warriors.

Leading Best Player of the Conference candidate Calvin Abueva proved anew why he deserves that top spot after tallying a monster double-double of 20 points and 19 rebounds off the bench on 6-of-11 shooting and 7-of-8 free throws.

Paul Lee, meanwhile, continued his stellar shooting streak with a game-high 24 points, while Jio Jalalon powered the bench alongside Abueva with 16 markers and 6 assists.

After a vintage “Big Game” James Yap shooting night helped cut the ROS deficit to two, 69-71, entering the fourth quarter, the Hotshots blazed ahead with a 13-2 opening salvo for the 84-71 gap at the 7:33 mark off an Abueva layup.

Although a pair of late Rey Nambatac triples again put the Painters within striking distance down six, 86-92, their comeback hopes were dashed after Mark Barroca calmly responded with two clutch floaters in the final minute to put the game away for good.

“I told my players it’s a defensive battle from start to finish,” said head coach Chito Victolero after showering Rain or Shine with praises on a tough series.

“We need to execute on both ends of the floor. That’s it, we really just needed to grind and grind for 48 minutes. I thank my players for committing to what we wanted to do.”

Yap ended a quietly productive comeback conference with 16 points in 27 minutes off the bench, both season-highs, while Nambatac chipped in 13 markers, 11 in the second half alone, on a 4-of-9 clip from deep in the tough loss.

The Scores

Magnolia 96 – Lee 24, Abueva 20, Jalalon 16, Sangalang 13, Barroca 8, Corpuz 5, Dela Rosa 3, Ahanmisi 3, Reavis 2, Pascual 1, Dionisio 1.

Rain or Shine 86 – Yap 16, Nambatac 13, Mocon 9, Caracut 9, Santillan 8, Wong 8, Belga 8, Asistio 7, Borboran 3, Norwood 3, Ponferada 2, Torres 0, Guinto 0, Tolentino 0.

Quarters: 28-17, 49-41, 71-69, 96-86.

– Rappler.com