PBA Philippine Cup

Magnolia survives TNT comeback to stay alive in PH Cup semis 

Martin Mendoza
Magnolia survives TNT comeback to stay alive in PH Cup semis 

ONE MORE CHANCE. Mark Barroca leads the way as Magnolia stays alive against TNT.

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Mark Barroca steps up big for the Magnolia Hotshots as they live to fight another day in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals

MANILA, Philippines – The Magnolia Hotshots lived to fight another day in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals with a 105-97 Game 5 win over the TNT Tropang Giga at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday, August 12.

With their backs against the wall in the best-of-seven affair, the Hotshots banked on veteran point guard Mark Barroca, who delivered a stellar performance of 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Calvin Abueva also came up huge in the crucial win, backstopping Barroca with an all-around game of 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists as Magnolia cut TNT’s series lead to 3-2.

After a back-and-forth shootout in the opening period, where Magnolia only led by 2 points, 28-26, the Hotshots turned on the jets at the start of the second frame and increased their slim two-point advantage to 13 points, 41-28, off back-to-back triples by Paul Lee and Barroca with 7:50 to play in the quarter. 

Barroca, who scored just 5 points in Game 4, paced Magnolia in the first two quarters as he quickly poured in 16 of his game-high 25 points.

In the second half, Magnolia failed to take care of its double-digit cushion as TNT managed to climb back and slice the lead to just 3 points, 80-83, with still 8:40 remaining in the game.

Luckily for the Hotshots, they had all the answers for the Tropang Giga’s fourth-quarter rally as they even pushed their lead back to 11, 105-94, off an Ian Sangalang layup with just 1:01 left to play. 

Lee and Sangalang also finished with 16 points apiece for the Hotshots, while Jio Jalalon added 15 points on an efficient 7-of-11 clip from the field.

For the Tropang Giga, Jayson Castro led the way with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, while big men Troy Rosario and Poy Erram contributed 17 and 16 markers, respectively.

The Scores

Magnolia 105 – Barroca 25, Lee 16, Sangalang 16, Abueva 16, Jalalon 15, Dionisio 10, Dela Rosa 3, Reavis 2, Escoto 2, Wong 0. 

TNT 97 – Castro 18, Rosario 17, Erram 16, M. Williams 13, Pogoy 13, Khobuntin 12, K. Williams 6, Montalbo 2, Reyes 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0. 

Quarters: 28-26, 59-45, 81-73, 105-97. 

– Rappler.com

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