Magnolia logs second straight victory with rout of Columbian

By Inquirer.net May 16,2018

Magnolia caught fire early to torch Columbian, 126-101, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup yesterday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Hotshots outscored the Dyip, 37-18, in the first 12 minutes of the game en route to their second straight win against a single loss.

The game was over quick with Magnolia’s lead swelling to 32 points, 72-40, in the second quarter after Alvin Abundo’s triple while Columbian never recovered.

In a matchup of the league’s most explosive offense and stingiest defense, it was the Hotshots’ dirty work that stopped the Dyip on its tracks.

Magnolia holds its opponents to a league-best 88.1 points per game, fully compensating for its humble 89.5 ppg production, and that vaunted defense was in full display against the Dyip, who top the conference with 111.8 points per outing.

“We have to respect this Columbian team because they’re on a really good run right now,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero in Filipino. “It’s a battle of our defense against their offense, and it was a good thing that my players had the right mindset.”

Vernon Macklin, who played his penultimate game in the PBA before flying to China to play in another professional league, posted 19 points and nine boards to lead the Hotshots.

“I still have the same mindset like if I was playing a normal game even if this is a bittersweet situation,” said Macklin. “I came here with these guys to start the season and I wanted to finish the season with these guys.”

Macklin didn’t divulge much information regarding his stint in China in a show of respect to his current club.

“Right now, I’m still with the Hotshots, so I don’t want to talk about the situation,” said Macklin. “Right now I’m just going to continue playing for Purefoods.”

Macklin’s most emphatic play of the game was in the second quarter when he gave the Hotshots a 56-30 lead with a one-handed dunk 5:05 left in the period.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the first game or if it’s the last game, I’m definitely going to play hard for my team, for the Hotshots, and for myself.”

John Fileds had a 22-point, 19-rebound double-double to play conductor for the Dyip while Jerramy King had 19 points.

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