Serbian import Nick Rakocevic impressed with his all-around game, and as he carried the Magnolia Timplados Hotshots to a 100-92 thumping of the Terrafirma Dyip as they began their 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign on a bright note on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The 6’11 Rakocevic had a monster game of 45 points and 25 rebounds, and he showed his unselfish side in the third period.
That was when Rakocevic led his teammates and the Hotshots to move away from a close, 59-54, halftime lead.
Rakocevic banged in 11 points and hauled down five rebounds in the third quarter to lift the Hotshots to an 80-71 spread at the end of the period.
His triple and assist to Rafi Reavis’ layup, followed by a three-point play saw the Hotshots taking a nine-point edge, 67-58, with 8:23 left.
A layup from Rakocevic, and his presence underneath allowed teammates Jackson Corpuz and Andy Barroca to score, and put the Hotshots up by 15, and into their biggest advantage, 71-58, in the final six minutes of the third.
“Nakita naman natin. He plays both ends of the floor. He contributes to our defensive schemes, and in our offense,” said Hotshots coach Chito Victolero.
Lester Prosper also unloaded 41 points for Dyip, which remained winless after two games.
Prosper was shacked to six points in the third, which saw the Hotshots nurse a nine-point advantage, 80-71, before the fourth canto began.