Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots regained their groove as they overwhelmed the NLEX Road Warriors, 99-84, in Game 2 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Monday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Hotshots zoomed to an early lead and never let up as
they cruised to the blowout victory to recover from upset loss in semis opener and equalize the best-of-7 series at one game apiece.
Wanting to bounce back from a dull performance in Game 1, Paul Lee caught fire from long distance, burying four triples en route to a 27-point output that was laced with four boards, three assists, and three steals in less than 29 minutes.
With an undermanned front court, Ian Sangalang stepped up from the absence of Marc Pingris, who reportedly suffered from an ACL injury, and delivered with 18 points and eight rebounds.
NLEX made it interesting late in the third period where it closed to within just four, 62-66. But that didn’t last long as Magnolia retaliated with a 14-2 surge, punctuated by PJ Simon’s back-to-back three-pointers, to pull away permanently.
JR Quiñahan and Alex Mallari paced the Road Warriors with 13 markers apiece, as Kiefer Ravena was held to just nine points.
The Game 3 of the series is on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
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.
Quarter scores: 27-20, 48-39, 70-62, 99-84.