A BOOMING third quarter surge propelled Magnolia to a merciless 124-77 massacre of woeful Kia as it bounced back in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
Justin Melton was steady for the Hotshots all game long, pouring in a game-high 23 points, six rebounds and eight assists off the bench to lead the way, while Ian Sanggalang did the same, scoring 21 points and hauling nine rebounds for a near double-double as he stabilized his team on both ends.
After a competitive first half, the Hotshots stepped on the gas pedal hard to start the second as they finally created the separation they needed in the third canto.
Midway to the latter part of the third, Magnolia launched a decisive 29-7 bomb to turn its then one-point lead into an insurmountable 81-58 distance after two free throws from Melton, capping the run with 15 seconds left in the period.
It was then 81-60 for Magnolia entering the final quarter.
There was no looking back after as the Hotshots coasted all the way to the finish line to secure their second win in three outings, moving them in the upper echelon in the standings.
The changes Kia made still didn’t do the Picanto any good as it remained winless and dropped to 0-3 at the cellar.
Magnolia star Paul Lee turned up the fire in his team’s fiery form in the third, scoring all of his 13 points in the period on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting, after being held scoreless for the entire first half.
The biggest lead for Magnolia was actually the final tally as it led by 47 whopping points twice in the dying seconds. Overall, the Hotshots outscored the Picanto 77-28 in the second half.
First-time PBA coach Ricky Dandan made his debut for Kia after taking the place of former mentor Chris Gavina.
The teams were tied at 22 at the end of one and Kia actually held a slim 49-47 edge at the turn before Magnolia emphatically took over in the last 24 minutes.
The scores:MAGNOLIA 124— Melton 23, Sangalang 21, Herndon 14, Lee 13, Simon 11, Jalalon 11, Ramos 7, Gamalinda 6, Pingris 6, Barroca 4, Pascual 4, Dela Rosa 2, Brondial 2.
KIA 77—Reyes 12, McCarthy 11, Celda 11, Tubid 11, Corpuz 9, Yee 6, Khobuntin 5, Paniamogan 5, Jamon 3, Caperal 2, Sara 2, Camson 0, Ababou 0, Galanza 0.
Quarters: 22-22, 49-47, 81-60, 124-77.
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