Magnolia Hotshots recovered from an awful first-half performance to dispatch the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 86-79, in their quarterfinal series in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena Tuesday evening.
As a result, the Hotshots made their fourth straight semifinals entry dating back to last season, and will now have to wait for the winner of the NLEX-Alaska series as their opponents in the best-of-seven semis.
Mark Barroca took charge and led Magnolia’s comeback off the bench, pouring all but two of his 17 points in the second half where they turned the tables and outscored GlobalPort, 52-34.
Paul Lee produced 14 points, 13 rebounds, and one assist in 35 minutes, while Marc Pingris added 13 points, nine boards, two blocks, one assist, and one steal in 33 minutes.
Down by much as 20 points, Magnolia clicked on both ends in the third canto for a 27-14 run and a 61-59 edge that would later grew as much as 11, 78-67, in the final four minutes.
The Batang Pier tried duplicating Magnolia’s comeback, and pulled to within just four, after Stanley Pringle, who tallied 31 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, nailed a three-pointer. But the bid was halted by the Hotshots, as Marc Pingris responded with an inside basket, before Lee and Barroca sealed the win with their free throws.
MAGNOLIA 86 – Barroca 17, Lee 14, Pingris 13, Sangalang 11, Melton 7, Simon 7, Ramos 6, Jalalon 5, Brondial 4, Reavis 2, Dela Rosa 0.
GLOBALPORT 79 – Pringle 31, Romeo 14, Grey 9, Sargent 7, Nabong 5, Elorde 4, Taha 3, Teng 3, Gabayni 2, Araña 1, Anthony 0, Guinto 0.
Quarter scores: 12-26, 34-45, 61-59, 86-79.