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Magnolia routs Blackwater to stay perfect; NorthPort adds to Converge’s misery

MANILA, Philippines, December 7 ------ The Magnolia Hotshots continued their undefeated run in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, pulling away from the Blackwater Bossing late for a 105-84 thrashing at the PhilSports Arena. After leading by only 5 points at the start of the fourth quarter, the Hotshots showed why they are the top team in the league as they opened the final frame on a furious 18-2 blast to extend their slim 70-65 advantage into a comfortable 88-67 cushion with 6:15 to play.  Back-to-back three-pointers by Mike Ayonayon pulled Blackwater to within 15 points, 73-88, but that was the closest they could get in the endgame as Magnolia continued to make it rain from beyond the arc. The Hotshots outscored the Bossing, 35-19, in the final frame, with 15 points coming from the three-point area. 

Tyler Bey had a sensational 20-20 outing for Magnolia as he posted 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting and 22 rebounds. Paul Lee added 19 points on 3-of-6 clip from deep, while Jio Jalalon, Ian Sangalang, and Mark Barroca all chipped in 10 markers apiece. Ayonayon and rookie Christian David paced Blackwater with 15 points each, while Troy Rosario and Rey Suerte posted 14 and 13, respectively. Blackwater import Chris Ortiz, meanwhile, came up with just 8 points as Magnolia’s stifling defense held him to a dismal 3-of-13 field goal clip. The Hotshots improved their unblemished record to 6-0 and dealt the Bossing their sixth straight loss for a 1-6 card. 

In the other game, the NorthPort Batang Pier picked up their second straight win after cruising past the winless Converge FiberXers, 111-95. Converge had no answers for NorthPort import Venky Jois, who dropped a massive double-double of 39 points and 21 rebounds. Jois connected on 17 of his 27 attempts from the field en route to his 39-point output, while also tallying team-highs of 6 assists and 4 blocks for the Batang Pier.  

Tolentino backstopped Jois with 18 points, while prized Batang Pier rookie Cade Flores delivered another double-double performance of 13 markers and 13 boards. NorthPort spoiled the debut of Coverge’s newest reinforcement Jamil Wilson, who was brought in to replace Tom Vodanovich after the FiberXers’ 0-5 start to the conference. The former NBA player Wilson finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds for Converge, but shot a lowly 10-of-24 clip from the field. 

Mike Nieto, who missed the FiberXers’ last two games due to a knee injury, made a good account of himself in his return to action, putting up 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. The Batang Pier moved up to 4-2, while the FiberXers slid to 0-6. 

The Scores

First Game

NorthPort 111 – Jois 39, Tolentino 18, Flores 13, Munzon 12, Yu 11, Calma 6, Chan 6, Paraiso 4, Amores 2, Taha 0, Salado 0, Caperal 0. 

Converge 95 – Wilson 30, Nieto 16, Stockton 9, Racal 8, Arana 7, Winston 6, Balanza 5, Delos Santos 4, Santos 2, Melecio 0, Wong 0. 

Quarters: 27-27, 58-48, 83-75, 111-95. 

Second Game

Magnolia 105 – Bey 26, Lee 19, Jalalon 10, Sangalang 10, Barroca 10, Eriobu 9, Laput 5, Tratter 5, Dela Rosa 3, Mendoza 3, Escoto 3, Reavis 2, Ahanmisi 0, Murell 0, Dionisio 0.

Blackwater 84 – David 15, Ayonayon 15, Rosario 14, Suerte 13, Ilagan 13, Ortiz 8, Guinto 3, Amer 2, Escoto 1, Ular 0, Hill 0. 

Quarters: 27-23, 52-47, 70-65, 105-84.



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