By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok notched their second straight win in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup and they did so in big fashion, routing the Columbian Dyip, 126-101, yesterday in the curtain-raiser at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Had it explosive in the opening half of the encounter, the Hotshots were too much for the Dyip to handle the rest of the way as they rolled to the easy victory and improve to 2-1 after opening their campaign in the midseason PBA tournament with a loss.
The game started close with the two teams trying to establish early control, fighting to a 9-8 count with the Hotshots on top with 8:36 to go in the first quarter.
After that Magnolia would go on a 12-2 run in the next three minutes, with Vernon Macklin, Paul Lee and Marc Barroca leading the charge, to extend their lead to 11 points, 21-10.
It would use it as a jump-off point to pull away further, holding a 19-point cushion, 37-18, by the end of the first 12 minutes.
The Hotshots continued to build on the momentum they had to finish the opening canto and pounded on the Dyip some more to start the second frame.
They outscored their opponents, 19-12, in the first seven minutes to make it a 26-point edge, 56-30, and extending it to a 32-point separation a couple of times after before they settled for a 72-43 advantage by the halftime break.
Looking to fight back, Columbian played more aggressive to start the third quarter with import John Fields trying to rally his team.
But Magnolia was quick to nip the fight back to the bud, to stay ahead, 97-71, heading into the final quarter.
With the game pretty much under wraps, the Hotshots spent the fourth quarter just keeping the Dyip at bay, which they were able to successfully do, maintaining their lead above 30 points for much of the time and sprinted to the victory.
Mr. Macklin led Magnolia with 19 points and eight rebounds followed by Ian Sangalang with 18 points.
Messrs. Barroca and Lee had 17 points each with Aldrech Ramos and Jio Jalalon adding 12 and 11 points each.
Mr. Macklin, however, played his penultimate game for Magnolia as he is set to play in China.
Columbian, meanwhile, was paced by Mr. Fields with 22 points and 19 boards with Jerramy King finishing with 19 markers.
“We just played hard throughout the game,” said Mr. Macklin, named player of the game, after their victory.
Magnolia next plays tomorrow against the Meralco Bolts while Columbian (3-3) plays on June 1 versus TNT KaTropa.