Magnolia rallies to beat NLEX, moves up to 5-0

Mike Harris got the last laugh over KJ McDaniels after scoring the eventual dagger layup. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Magnolia sizzled in the fourth quarter but needed a lucky break down the stretch to take down NLEX, 112-109, in the PBA Governors' Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Down 77-88 after three cantos, the Hotshots got their offensive game going in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter to take a 100-96 lead.

The Road Warriors kept the game close and even retook the lead, 105-104, with under three minutes to play, although the Hotshots responded with back-to-back baskets to go back on top, 108-105.

The turning point came with 32.6 seconds with Magnolia up, 110-109, when Matt Nieto, who was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line before getting fouled by Jio Jalalon while taking a potential go-ahead three, missed all of his three charities that could have put NLEX back up.

In the ensuing play, Mike Harris converted on a reverse layup for the eventual final tally with 12 seconds remaining.

KJ McDaniels and Don Trollano tried to force overtime for the Road Warriors, but they missed on their three-point attempts before Rafi Reavis secured the game-saving rebound for the Hotshots.

Harris finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and one steal for Magnolia, which is now 5-0 in the team standings, the team's best start since Chito Victolero took over as head coach.

Paul Lee added 21 points, two rebounds, four assists, and one steal.

McDaniels put up 35 markers, 13 boards, three dimes, one steal, and six blocks, while Kevin Alas added 22 points, five caroms, two assists, and two steals for NLEX, which fell to its third straight loss after a 4-0 start.

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