4:30 p.m. -- Meralco vs. Phoenix
7 p.m.--Alaska vs. San Miguel
MAGNOLIA is back in the semis and coach Chito Victolero couldn’t be happier.
Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang and import Romeo Travis have a lot to do with it.
Lee scattered 22 points, including the game-clinching free throws with five seconds left as Magnolia advanced to the semis with a 103-99 win over Blackwater in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Sangalang added 18 points, including four straight baskets that enabld the Hotshots to take control, 95-94, after trailing by seven points, 84-91, midway through the fourth quarter.
And Travis added 18 points, 20 rebounds and 12 assists in a triple double performance for the Hotshots, who became the first team to the semis.
The Hotshots had to beat the Elite only once to make it to the semifinal round -- a luxury they got for finishing No. 4 in the elimination round.
They did just that.
“It’s nice to be back in the semis. We missed it last conference,” said Victolero after the game.
“I told my players before the game, it’s (gonna be) a grinding game. It won’t be easy because we know Blackwater improved a lot this conference,” added Victolero.
But unlike in their 133-99 victory over the Elite during the elimination round, the Hotshots had to work extra hard to slam the door on their opponents.
Trailing 84-91, midway through the final period, the Hotshots went on a 16-5 run capped by a three-point play by Sangalang and a short floater by Jio Jalalon to grab the lead for good, 100-96
It was a sad ending for Blackwater, which posted its best finish in a conference at No. 5 but blew the chance to secure a twice-to-beat spot in the quarterfinals following a loss to Phoenix last Sunday.
Henry Walker topscored for Blackwater with 18 points, followed by JP Erram with 15 points and 19 rebounds, Paul Zamar with 13.
Meanwhile, Phoenix and Alaska hope to make the semifinal round right away today against Meralco and San Miguel Beer, respectively, at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Fuel Masters, who finished second in the elimination round, take on the Bolts in the first game at 4:30 p.m..
The Aces, who wound up third in the elims, will have to deal with the Beermen at 7 p.m
Magnolia (103) - Lee 22, Travis 18, Sangalang 18, Simon 16, Barroca 9, Melton 8, Brondial 4, Reavis 3, Dela Rosa 3, Jalalon 2.
Blackwater (99) - Walker 18, Erram 15, Zamar 13, Maliksi 12, Belo 11, Digregorio 8, Pinto 7, Sumang 7, Al-Hussaini 4, Javier 4, Jose 0.
Quarterscores: 32-22, 55-47, 76-78, 103-99.