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MANILA Philippines – Magnolia continued to play minus some of its stars but the Hotshots again pulled through, this time behind Jackson Corpuz and James Laput.
The Hotshots turned back NLEX, 103-97, to cruise to their third straight victory in the PBA on Tour on Saturday night, June 3, at the Baliwag Star Arena in Baliwag, Bulacan.
With Magnolia still playing minus Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang, Corpuz took charge by burying 19 points spiked by a 3-of-4 shooting from the three-point range.
The usually defensive-minded Corpuz delivered 12 in the third quarter alone as the Hotshots seized control with a 30-14 outburst.
Laput, a 6-foot-10 project, also posted a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds in the pro league’s exhibition series.
Other second stringers came through with Jerrick Ahanmisi shooting all of his 15 points from beyond the arc – the last giving Magnolia a 91-78 advantage with 6:48 minutes left – and Jed Mendoza firing a long bomb with 12 ticks remaining that helped the Hostshots arrest the Road Warriors’ comeback bid.
Ben Adamos, NLEX’s trade acquisition from Phoenix, debuted for the Road Warriors with 18 points.
His efforts, though, weren’t enough as NLEX fell to a 0-3 record.
Magnolia 103 – Corpuz 19, Laput 18, Ahanmisi 15, Dela Rosa 12, Lee 12, Mendoza 8, Eriobu 7, Barroca 6, Jalalon 6, Tratter 0, Murrell 0.
NLEX 97 – Adamos 18, Trollano 15, Alas 15, Pascual 14, Fajardo 12, Rosales 8, Galanza 7, Doliguez 5, Miranda 3.
Quarters: 26-25, 45-53, 75-67, 103-97.