PBA Philippine Cup

Jalalon plays hero as Magnolia survives NLEX in OT, sets semis date vs TNT

Delfin Dioquino
Jalalon plays hero as Magnolia survives NLEX in OT, sets semis date vs TNT

MOVING ON. Jio Jalalon and Magnolia advance to the final four after a hard-fought quarterfinals series against NLEX.

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Jio Jalalon comes up with the big plays in overtime as Magnolia escapes pesky NLEX in Game 3 of their best-of-three quarterfinals

MANILA, Philippines – Jio Jalalon delivered the big hits in overtime as Magnolia turned back NLEX, 112-106, to reach the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, July 31.

Jalalon scored 7 of his 16 points in the extra period and finished with 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals to help the Hotshots survive the pesky Road Warriors in their do-or-die quarterfinal clash.

Magnolia will face TNT in a best-of-seven semifinals – a rematch of the All-Filipino finals last year.

Jalalon opened overtime with back-to-back buckets to give the Hotshots a 101-97 lead before he drained a spectacular one-legged triple with the shot clock winding down for a 106-100 cushion.

The do-it-all guard then assisted on a Calvin Abueva bucket with 1:20 minutes left as the Magnolia cushion grew to 8 points.

But Don Trollano nearly spoiled the Hotshots’ breakaway by draining back-to-back three-pointers to pull NLEX within a single possession, 106-108.

However, that turned out to be the last time the Road Warriors scored as Magnolia sealed the win with key defensive stops and free throws from Abueva and Mark Barroca.

“Thank you, Jio,” said Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero at the start of the post-game presser.

Ian Sangalang topscored for Magnolia with 24 points to go with 11 rebounds and 3 assists, while Paul Lee delivered 21 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds, including the clutch trey that forged overtime.

The Hotshots trailed 94-97 before Lee sank a three-pointer from the corner off an Abueva assist to level the score with 12 ticks left in the fourth quarter.

Both teams bungled their attempts at a game-winner in regulation, with NLEX forward Calvin Oftana getting his dribble picked off by Jalalon and Lee turning the ball over as time expired.

Oftana erupted for 32 points on top of 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals, but he found himself shackled when it mattered most as he went scoreless in the extra period.

Trollano tallied 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Kevin Alas posted 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists in the losing effort.

The Scores

Magnolia 112 – Sangalang 24, Lee 21, Jalalon 16, Barroca 14, Abueva 13, Dela Rosa 12, Corpuz 6, Dionisio 4, Wong 2.

NLEX 106 – Oftana 32, Trollano 22, Alas 17, Chua 10, Semerad 8, Quinahan 8, Rosales 5, Varilla 2, Nieto 2, Soyud 0.

Quarters: 26-30, 51-54, 79-78, 97-97 (reg.), 112-106 (OT).

– 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.