MANILA, Philippines–Magnolia came back from a 26-point deficit to defeat defending champion Barangay Ginebra (93-91) in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
The Hotshots started a hard-fought second half to erase what seemed an insurmountable deficit and ultimately extended the club’s unbeaten start to four games.
“Talk about effort. During the break, I kept reminding them that they were overworked. (The Gin Kings) outworked us in the first half and abused us in the first half. I just kept getting the guys to play Magnolia basketball…and [my players] we met my challenge,” said head coach Chito Victolero.
Import Tyler Bey was solid again for the Hotshots, scoring 31 points and 10 rebounds. Jio Jalalon scored 15 points and Mark Barroca added 13 to hand the crowd favorites their first defeat in their fight to retain the conference title.
The Gin Kings got 21 points from both import Tony Bishop Jr. and offseason Maverick Ahanmisi. Christian Standhardinger added 13 each, and Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson each added 12 in an embarrassing collapse before the gallery was filled mostly with their fans.
Ginebra’s 26 points on the night were the largest lead the Magnolia franchise has had since an 86-84 overtime triumph over Tim Cone’s Alaska in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference. Then, wearing the Purefoods brand, the club made up for the loss of 29 points and won the competition.
Magnolia can annex a fifth win against NLEX on December 1. Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra has a chance to quickly get back into the win column when they face struggling Rain or Shine next Friday.