Magnolia takes 2-1 lead vs NLEX

By: Inquirer.net March 14,2018 - 10:05 PM

Game Today:
(Mall of Asia Arena)
7 p.m. – Barangay Ginebra vs San Miguel Beer

The second-seeded Magnolia Hotshots took the lead in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series against the NLEX Road Warriors following a 106-99 victory in Game 3 yesterday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon spearheaded Magnolia’s offense and helped the Hotshots take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Jalalon had 25 points five rebounds and three assists while Sangalang added 24 points, seven rebounds and an assist as Magnolia logged back-to-back wins after losing the series opener last Saturday.

Rookie Kiefer Ravena led the losing Road Warriors with 20 points, one rebound and five assists.

Going for a tie

Meanwhile, Tim Cone says that his Barangay Ginebra crew is not a one-and-done team, even if it is mighty San Miguel Beer his Gin Kings are up against.

But he also knows that it would take a whole lot to topple these history-seeking Beermen.

“We got one, and we’re happy. But we’re not satisfied,” Cone said on Tuesday night after finally putting one over the Beermen and cutting San Miguel’s Final Four lead to 1-2.

“We have to play an A-plus-plus game and see if we can beat them again.”

The two-time Grand Slam winner hopes to get that from his Kings at 7 p.m. Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay to equalize, and they would have to do it with Greg Slaughter on the sidelines still and while having to contend with the mammoth June Mar Fajardo on the other end.

“He’s just amazing, his basketball IQ is off the charts. He just finds a way,” Cone said after Fajardo scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds despite all kinds of defensive pressure all game long.

“We’re throwing everything at him, the kitchen sink and even the toilet,” Cone said of Fajardo, the reigning four-time MVP. “He’s just hungry (for championships) and that makes him a very special player.”

If at all, Cone was impressed at how his charges came out for Game 3 just two night after taking a very painful loss, which speaks very well of the character of his team and which gives him hope that they could pull this one out even with Slaughter out.

“They showed their never-say-die spirit,” Cone said. “You don’t come out of painful, painful losses like that and play as great.”

Chris Ross, San Miguel’s do-it-all point guard, did not play in the second half of Game 3.

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