September 26, 2021 at 08:00 pm
The Magnolia Hotshots controlled the boards and limited the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in third quarter to pull off an 81-70 win Sunday in the opener of their their best-of-three 2021 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Ian Sangalang was a force under the boards with his double-double output of 19 points and 13 rebounds and in 35 minutes to lead the charge of the Hotshots.
The 6’7” Sangalang struck hard with a layup, a defensive rebound and a pass to Andy Barroca, who drove in with 9:47 left to tie the count at 44-all, kickstarting a decisive offensive run for the Hotshots in the succeeding minutes.
“We were down in the first half. But in the second half, we kept on executing and that’s the most important thing,” said Hotshots’ coach Chito Victolero after they out-rebounded the opposition, 66-43.
Sangalang’s intensity under the boards came as the top-scoring Paul Lee finished with 20 points on 6-for-22 shots, to go with four rebounds and three assists.
Sangalang went on to chip in eight points in the last 3:50 of the third period as the Hotshots moved away using a decisive 17-4 spurt to put the third-seeded Magnolia a win away from the semifinals.
A putback from Sangalang at the end of their big blast saw the Hotshots cutting loose at 54-46.
Jio Jalalon came off the bench with 10 points and added to the Hotshots’ lead with his driving layup in the final 3:20 of the third for a 56-46 count.
Calvin Abueva made only eight points, but he helped Sangalang control the rebounds with 13 boards, to go with his two blocks, an assist and a steal.
Santi Santillan, who had 17 points, kept the Elasto Painters alive with his triple with 3:31 to go in the last period, 67-73.
But a triple and two freebies from Lee kept the Hotshot ahead, 77-67, with 1:20 to go.
Rey Nambatac added 16 points to the Elasto Painters’ bid, while Javee Mocon made 11.