PBA Governors' Cup

Hester sets tone as Magnolia rips NorthPort to shreds, claims quarters berth

Delfin Dioquino

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Hester sets tone as Magnolia rips NorthPort to shreds, claims quarters berth

WIN AGAIN .Antonio Hester and Magnolia get back on track.

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Antonio Hester leads a balanced attack of six players in double-figure scoring as Magnolia becomes the seventh team to advance to the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals

MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia banked on a big second quarter to coast to a 129-109 romp of NorthPort and clinch a playoff berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Thursday, March 2.

Antonio Hester put up a 28-point, 14-rebound double-double to lead a balanced attack of six players in double-figure scoring as the Hotshots improved to 5-4 and became the seventh team to advance to the quarterfinals.

Determined after having his unbeaten streak with Magnolia halted, Hester came out with guns blazing and finished with 24 points in the first half, including 10 in a searing second quarter that saw the Hotshots erupt for 42 points.

Magnolia shrugged off a lethargic start after falling behind 12-22 and ended the first quarter tied with the Batang Pier at 31-31 before it opened the floodgates in the second period with Hester and Aris Dionisio showing the way.

Dionisio scattered 11 of his 15 points in the second quarter as the Hotshots entered the break with a 73-47 cushion and never looked back.

Mark Barroca once again delivered a superb outing off the bench with 21 points and 8 assists, Rome dela Rosa chimed in 19 points and 6 rebounds, while Calvin Abueva produced 18 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.

Paul Lee also contributed for Magnolia with 16 points, including a pair of three-pointers in the final salvo that put the exclamation point in the blowout.

Batang Pier import Kevin Murphy netted 31 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals in the loss that denied NorthPort a third straight victory.

Robert Bolick fired 30 points for the Batang Pier, who dropped to 2-7 for a three-way tie at ninth place with Rain or Shine and Terrafirma.

The Scores

Magnolia 129 – Hester 28, Barroca 21, Dela Rosa 19, Abueva 18, Lee 16, Dionisio 15, Escoto 7, Jalalon 3, Mendoza 2, Reavis 0, Ahanmisi 0, Wong 0, Zaldivar 0, Corpuz 0.

NorthPort 109 – Murphy 31, Bolick 30, Munzon 11, Calma 9, Chan 8, Taha 6, Tolentino 4, Salado 4, Zamar 3, Sumang 2, Santos 0, Caperal 0, Balagasay 0.

Quarters: 31-31, 73-47, 98-84, 129-109.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.