By March 12,2018

Paul Lee scored 27 points to lead the Magnolia Hotshots to a 99-84 win over NLEX in Game 2.

Playing without its injured star Marc Pingris for the first time, an inspired Magnolia Hotshots squad pulled off a 99-84 victory over the NLEX Road Warriors in Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at the Araneta Coliseum yesterday.

The victory tied the best-of-seven series at 1-1.

Pingris, Magnolia’s veteran big man, is expected to be out for the rest of the PBA season because of a ruptured left ACL, which will require at least six months to heal.

The extent of Pingris’ injury was confirmed yesterday afternoon by several Magnolia officials after Pingris underwent a series of tests ever since being carried out of the floor last Saturday in a close loss to the Road Warriors in their series opener.

The absence of Pingris seemed to have motivated the Hotshots, who took off to a strong start and never looked back.

Stepping up for Magnolia was Paul Lee, who bounced back from an eight-point Game 1 performance to score 27 points.

Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer tries to all but wrap up its separate best-of-seven series opposite crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra on Tuesday when the Beermen gun for a 3-0 lead also at the modern Pasay venue.

The Gin Kings have their backs to the wall and would need nothing less than a win in their 7 p.m. contest.

And Ginebra would have to do it without Greg Slaughter for the third straight game.

The 7-foot cornerstone injured his right ankle, and with the swelling yet to fully subside, has sat it out and left a gaping hole in the middle for Ginebra.
San Miguel is seeking to win this tournament for an unprecedented fourth straight time.

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