by Jonas Terrado
Games Wednesday (Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs NorthPort
7 p.m. – Meralco vs NLEX
Magnolia took control of the second half behind a decisive run to beat Columbian, 110-103, for its second straight win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots scored 18 consecutive points during a five-minute stretch in the third quarter to take the lead for good and eventually climb at fifth place with an even 2-2 slate.
Ian Sangalang, import James Farr, Paul Lee and Jio Jalalon combined to produce the said run that enabled Magnolia to turn a 62-58 deficit after a breakaway dunk by CJ Perez with over nine minutes left in the third to a 76-62 lead, 4:36 remaining.
Coach Chito Victolero’s team also forced the Dyip to miss five attempts while turning the ball over three times.
Farr, who has finally adjusted after a dismal eight-point debut last Wednesday, scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds despite dealing with foul trouble as Magnolia won two during a period of three games in four days.
“Medyo mabigat sa amin yung schedule pero happy ako dun sa two out of three,” said Victolero.
Sangalang also had 22 points with eight rebounds and three blocks even as Lee added 21 and Jalalon 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Columbian dropped to 1-4 despite a strong debut by new import Lester Prosper.
Prosper, who replaced Kyle Barone, finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Dyip.
Both teams were locked in a 52-all tie at the half with Magnolia starting the third flat with Perez scoring a dunk off a steal for 62-58.
But Sangalang scored a three-point play and Lee hit a three to put the Hotshots ahead for good, eventually launching the aforementioned run.