|Paul Lee led the Hotshots' charge with 20 points. PBA Media Bureau|
By Dugout Philippines
PASAY--Barely back from an injury, 40-year-old Magnolia Hotshots skipper Rafi Reavis made a big help as they fended off the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 97-91, to stay right behind the pacesetting San Miguel Beermen in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome Saturday.
Reavis made a clutch shot at the finish to cap an 11-point, 11-rebound game as the Hotshots chalked up a third straight win and their fourth in all in five starts in the all-Filipino tourney.
"I'm trying to get back in shape and trying to give what they've been missing from me," said Reavis, making an impact in his second game in his return from an injury.
"Our guys have been working hard day in and day out, and I'm just playing the veteran role," Reavis also said.
Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, Rome dela Rosa and Mark Barroca also played stellar roles as the Hotshots handed the Fuel Masters a third loss against two wins.
The two teams engaged in a nip-and-tuck battle, with the Fuel Masters barely yielding the game on crucial errors by Matthew Wright at the finish.
The Hotshots sealed the win at 95-91 with 12 ticks to go as Reavis converted a short stab on a lob pass by Lee.
Lee scored a game-high 20 points, including four three-pointers, Dela Rosa contributed 17 laced by two treys, Sangalang chipped in 16 while Barroca added 12.
Marc Pingris continued to get better from his own injury, making a big help on the defensive end. He collared 16 defensive rebounds and a total of 17 caroms that went with four assists and four points on 2-of-6 field goals.
Gelo Alolino paced the Fuel Masters with 19 points, including a five-point opening binge in the second half that sparked a run that put Phoenix in control in the third.
Alolino also drained a Hail Mary shot towards the end of the third, and the Fuel Masters led by eight at 75-67 going into the final period.
Wright fired 17 points but committed two costly errors in the homestretch.
Jeff Chan was the third Phoenix player to finish in double figures with 12.
Magnolia 97-Lee 20, Dela Rosa 17, Sangalang 16, Barroca 12, Reavis 11, Simon 6, Jalalon 5, Pingris 4, Ramos 3, Pascual 2, Herndon 1, Melton 0
Phoenix 91-Alolino 19, Wright 17, Chan 12, Jazul 9, Eriobu 8, Chua 7, Mendoza 6, Kramer 6, Intal 3, Revilla 2, Perkins 2, Wilson 0, Dehesa 0
Quarterscores: 30-23, 47-45, 67-75, 97-91
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