By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter
THE Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok halted erstwhile streaking NLEX Road Warriors, 112-105, in double overtime (2OT) in Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup action on Wednesday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU) Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Magnolia fashioned out a ferocious comeback in the fourth period to force the contest into extra time where it battled through to complete the dig-deep victory.
The contest was close right from the get-go, with the teams fighting to a 49-46 count, and the Road Warriors ahead, at the break.
NLEX then exploded in the third canto, outscoring the Hotshots, 35-26, to end up with a 13-point cushion, 84-71, heading into the payoff quarter.
In the fourth, it was Magnolia’s turn to wax hot, scoring 23 points to NLEX’s 10 points to send the game to overtime.
The first overtime saw the Road Warriors seemingly on their way to victory after it held a four-point lead, 103-99, with 18 seconds to play.
But a 5-1 run after — two made free throws by Paul Lee and a triple by reserve Aris Dionisio —towed Magnolia in sending the contest to another five minutes.
In the second overtime, it was all Hotshots, with big man Ian Sangalang scoring six of the team’s eight points and the team holding Road Warriors to a solitary point.
Calvin Abueva top-scored with 23 points for Magnolia, which improved to a 6-2 record in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association tournament. He also grabbed 12 rebounds, had four assists, three steals and two blocks.
Mr. Sangalang had 21 points while Mr. Lee added 18 markers.
For NLEX (4-3), which saw its win streak stopped at three, it was Jericho Cruz who led with 21 points, followed by Don Trollano with 15 and JR Quinahan with 14.
Meanwhile, Juami Tiongson of the Terrafirma Dyip was named player of the week of the PBA.
No-nonsense guard Tiongson averaged 23 points, on 50% shooting; 5.3 assists, three rebounds and two steals in helping the Dyip go 3-0 in the opening week of the PBA restart from Sept. 1 to 5.
Two of the wins came at the expense of powerhouse teams San Miguel Beermen and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings, where he scored 28 and 31 points, respectively.
In winning the weekly award, the former Ateneo guard Tiongson beat TnT Filipino-American rookie Mikey Williams and teammate Roger Pogoy, NLEX’s Cruz and Quinahan and Kevin Alas, and Aldrech Ramos of Terrafirma.
Games on Thursday, meanwhile, will see the Northport Batang Pier (1-3) play the Blackwater Bossing (0-7) in a battle of tail-ending teams scheduled for 4:35 p.m.
The other game will feature streaking Terrafirma (3-4) and struggling Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (2-5) at 2 p.m.