Magnolia Hotshots earned its ticket to the PBA Governors' Cup semifinals berth after shutting down Phoenix Super LPG with a whopping 39 point lead, 127-88, Friday night in the PBA 46th Season Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

/ 19 March 2022

Magnolia is now at the top seed after crippling Phoenix and will be enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage as they face Meralco in the PBA semifinals.

The Hotshots rolled their sleeves early as Paul Lee delivered a fast game of 20 points in the first half of the game, and delivered six rebounds to balance his defense and offense for the team.

Magnolia also had benefited from Calvin Abueva who returned from a month-long absence caused by a calf injury and delivered 12 points, nine rebounds, and four assists.

The Fuel Masters failed to recover as Magnolia’s Mark Barroca chipped in 18 points and seven assists, Jio Jalalon scored 15 points, eight rebounds, and four steals, while import Mike Harris delivered 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and two blocks.

“We’re so much blessed nakabalik na si Calvin. Sobrang laki ang dinadala niya, kaya ramdam namin nung nawala siya. Siya yung player na madaling mag-transition sa iba-ibang posisyon,” Lee said of Abueva.

“Credit to the players. They prepared hard and executed it on the floor. Nagsimula sa depensa. We controlled and minimized the effectiveness of Matthew Wright and Jason Perkins,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.

Meanwhile, Du’vaughn Maxwell led Phoenix with 32 points, Perkins and RR Garcia chipped in 11 and 10, respectively, and Wright was only able to register six after fouling out at the 4:56 mark of the third frame.

The scores:

Magnolia 127 – Lee 25, Barroca 18, Jalalon 15, Harris 15, Abueva 12, Sangalang 11, Wong 11, Dela Rosa 10, Dionisio 5, Ahanmisi 3, Reavis 2, Brill 0, Corpuz 0, Escoto 0.

Phoenix Super LPG 88 – Maxwell 32, Perkins 11, Garcia 10, Wright 8, Melecio 7, Jazul 7, Robles 6, Pascual 4, Demusis 3, Manganti 0, Camacho 0, Rios 0, Porter 0.

Quarters: 34-20; 66-46; 102-67; 127-88.