Magnolia pips NLEX to tie semis series

MANILA — With one of its pillars now out of the season due to an ACL injury, Magnolia Hotshots needed to find a spark plug for the team not to go down 0-2 in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals against the NLEX Road Warriors.

Answering the call, Paul Lee exploded in time for the Hotshots, dropping 27 points to lead them to a 99-84 win over the Road Warriors in Game 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Monday night.

It was almost all-Magnolia from start to finish as the team, despite NLEX trying to make a comeback in the third quarter, made sure that the best-of-seven series will go to a Game 5.

Lee also had four rebounds, three assists, and three steals for the Hotshots. Meanwhile, Ian Sangalang (18 points and eight rebounds) and Jio Jalalon (10 assists and nine points) came close to double-doubles.

Alex Mallari and JR Quinahan each chipped in 13 markers for the Road Warriors.

Box Scores:

Magnolia 99 – Lee 27, Sangalang 18, Barroca 11, Dela Rosa 10, Ramos 10, Jalalon 9, Simon 8, Reavis 4, Brondial 2, Pascual 0, Mendoza 0, Gamalinda 0

NLEX 84 – Quiñahan 13, Mallari 13, Al-Hussaini 10, Ravena 9, Miranda 8, Fonacier 6, Alas 6, Tiongson 6, Soyud 5, Baguio 4, Taulava 4, Monfort 0, Ighalo 0

Quarterscores: 27-20, 48-39, 70-62, 99-84