Magnolia bared its defensive fangs right off the gates and disarmed NorthPort en route to a 112-74 victory in the 2023 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday, Nov. 17.
There was simply no looking back for the Hotshots after they clamped down on the Batang Pier, limiting their potent scoring to a measly eight points in the opening quarter to cruise to their third win in as many games.
While NorthPort struggled to find the bottom of the net, the goal looked bigger to the side of Magnolia which poured 28 points in the same quarter to establish an early 20-point lead.
The Batang Pier had a better offensive showing in the ensuing quarters but the lead was just too much to overcome as the Hotshots continued with their scintillating performance with Aris Dionisio even drilling a buzzer-beating trey that built a 34-point advantage, 82-48 heading into the final frame.
Showing no mercy was Magnolia as the lead even ballooned to as high as 38 points in the waning minutes of the final frame.
Tyler Bey led the balanced scoring for Magnolia by posting 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists while four other players reached double-figures in the masterful win.
Mark Barroca led the Hotshots locals with 17 points while Paul Lee added 16 points built on four triples.
Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon added 11 apiece in the victory that serves as a fitting warm up to Magnolia’s looming Manila Clasico clash with Ginebra on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Red-hot in the first two games that saw him average 25.5 points to earn a PBA Player of the Week citation, NorthPort star Arvin Tolentino still got his numbers with 22 points across his name although most of it came in the second half where Magnolia’s lead was already far out of reach.
Likewise, after putting up 36.5 points in the first two games, Batang Pier import Venky Jois struggled against the Hotshots defense, only scoring 16 points along with eight rebounds.
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