Red-hot Magnolia withstood a gritty comeback from Rain or Shine, 70-62, to pick up its fourth straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation in Pampanga on Saturday, November 7.
Paul Lee delivered anew with 31 points and hit crucial buckets down the stretch as the Hotshots dealt the skidding Elasto Painters their third straight loss and improved to 5-4.
Lee, who also had 5 rebounds and 2 assists, churned out 10 points in the 4th quarter, none bigger than the two baseline jumpers he sank in the final minute that completely put Rain or Shine at bay.
Magnolia saw its 20-point lead trimmed to just 4 with less than two minutes left, 62-66, before Lee played the hero by drilling in back-to-back shots from the same left baseline spot.
The Elasto Painters failed to score again as Kris Rosales and Javee Mocon missed their three-pointers.
Ian Sangalang backstopped Lee with 14 points and 5 rebounds, Mark Barroca had 8 points, while Rafi Reavis added 4 points and 11 rebounds in the low-scoring affair.
Rain or Shine trailed by 18 points at halftime after scoring just 5 second-quarter points before it underwent a major revamp in the following frame, where it outscored its foes 25-17, with 12 points coming from Rosales.
However, the lead the Hotshots built proved too much as the Elasto Painters eventually ran out of steam for their comeback attempt.
Rosales led Rain or Shine, which slipped to 4-4, with 14 points and 8 rebounds, while Jewel Ponferada put up 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Mocon, who leads the Elasto Painters in scoring, got limited to just 3 points on a dismal 1-of-9 shooting, although he had 10 rebounds and 3 steals.
Magnolia 70 – Lee 31 , Sangalang 14, Barroca 8, Jalalon 7, Reavis 4, Dela Rosa 4, Banchero 2, Calisaan 0, Corpuz 0, Melton 0.
Rain or Shine 62 – Rosales 14 , Ponferada 13, Nambatac 11, Wong 5, Belga 5, Norwood 4, Mocon 3, Onwubere 3, Torres 2, Yap 2, Arana 0, Borboran 0.
Quarters: 19-16, 39-21, 56-46, 70-62.