Magnolia Hotshots has come back to life in game three of their series against TNT Tropang Giga, earning their first win after a 0-2 beating in the Philippine Cup’s finals at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Sunday, October 24.

The Hotshots curbed Tropang Giga’s two consecutive wins with a 106-98 victory last night. 

The SMC team effectively fended off TNT’s explosive guard Mikey Williams, who recorded 10 triples and 39 points during the game. 

According to Magnolia Head Coach Chito Victolero, his players stayed true to their roots and focused on their basics to snag their first win of the best-of-seven series. 

“We played better defense than we did in the first two games. We reminded ourselves that it was our defense that brought us here. So we played good defense,” he said.

“We just got back to basics, thought of what happened in the series against Meralco and Rain or Shine and treat it as a game at a time,” Victolero added.

Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang took the helm for the Hotshots, racking up 21 and 20 points respectively. 

However, Lee said Mark Barroca, who pitched in a total of 16 points, ultimately set the tone for the team. Though, injured Barroca kept fighting to the end even managing to shoot a late floater, which put Magnolia ahead, 100-95, with only 52 seconds left in the match.

Meanwhile, TNT suffered greatly from the Hotshots’ defense with RR Pogoy (14 points) and Poy Erram (10 points) the only other two besides Williams, who broke through the double-digit score barrier. 

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Image credit: PBA