THE defending Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup champions Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok finally got back into the win column after defeating the Columbian Dyip, 118-103, on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Losers of their last three assignments, the Hotshots stopped the bleeding for them in the season-ending PBA tournament with a gallant stand against the Dyip to improve to a .500 mark record of 4-4 and get some footing in the middle of the pack.

Import Romeo Travis stepped up his play to finish with 28 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks to help Magnolia to the victory.

It was a close game between the two squads in the opening two periods, with Columbian taking on the opening canto, 29-27, and the Hotshots surging to a 61-52 advantage to claim the second quarter,

In the third period the teams battled it out some more but Mr. Travis and Magnolia were able to keep their heads afloat, 88-76, heading into the final canto.

The Dyip kept fighting in the fourth quarter only to be met by a Hotshots crew determined to bring home the win.

Magnolia held a 12-point lead, 106-94, with 5:53 to go before it went on an 8-4 run in the next three minutes to create enough distance to put the game away.

Ian Sangalang finished with 24 points to provide solid support for Mr. Travis while Jio Jalalon tallied a near triple-double of 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Rome Dela Rosa had 16 points while Mark Barroca had 10.

For Columbian (4-5), it was CJ Perez who top-scored with 28 points to go along with eight rebounds,

Import Khapri Alston had 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Dyip with Rashawn McCarthy adding 18 markers.

Magnolia next plays on Nov. 6 against the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters while Columbian takes on the Meralco Bolts on Nov. 8. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo