Hotshots stun Elasto Painters, get Finals date with Beermen anew

Ian Sangalang came alive in the fourth quarter and overtime to save Magnolia. PBA Media Group

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Magnolia set or helped set three single-game playoff lows in Game 7 of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.

Still, the team took the win.

The Hotshots booked a rematch with the San Miguel Beermen for all the marbles after subduing the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters in overtime, 63-60, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Sunday night.

In an ugly-shooting game that ended up as the lowest-scoring playoff game in league history, it was Magnolia's persistence that prevailed despite ROS threatening to pull away.

After holding the E-Painters to just seven points in the first quarter, the Hotshots were then held to just seven in the second as they ended up with just 21 first half points, tying an all-time playoff low.

Ironically, it was the same Purefoods franchise which was at the right side of the last time the infamy happened when it limited Alaska to just 21 at halftime in Game 1 of the 2013 Commissioner's Cup semifinals.

ROS then suddenly came alive from long range to start the third quarter, dropping four straight triples to open a 39-22 lead.

Magnolia, although failing to escape another infamy after setting a three-quarter playoff low with only 37 points to show after 36 minutes, still found a way to slow ROS down and eventually reclaimed the lead, 50-48, on back-to-back baskets by Ian Sangalang.

The E-Painters remained resilient and eventually forced overtime on a clutch triple from Rey Nambatac.

The game remained tight in the extra five minutes and was even on track of heading to another overtime as Rafi Reavis only made a split from the line for a 62-60 lead with 8.1 seconds left.

But his teammates' tight defense on James Yap made him miss the potential equalizer, and Ian Sangalang added another charity for the final score.

Sangalang and Paul Lee each had 11 points for the Hotshots, who will face the Beermen once again in the best-of-seven finals beginning Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Yap finished with 14 markers for the E-Painters.

The Scores:

Magnolia 63 - Sangalang 11, Lee 11, Ramos 9, Reavis 8, Barroca 7, Dela Rosa 6, Brondial 5, Jalalon 3, Melton 3, Herndon 0.

Rain or Shine 60 - Yap 14, Norwood 11, Ponferada 9, Belga 7, Ahanmisi 7, Nambatac 5, Mocon 3, Borboran 2, Rosales 2, Torres 0, Daquioag 0.

Quarters: 14-7, 21-27, 37-44, 55-55, 63-60.

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