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Magnolia blasts off in Q3 to edge Meralco

Paul Lee caught fire for Magnolia in a crucial win vs. Meralco. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—Magnolia scored an important win in its bid to finish inside the Top 2 in the PBA Commissioner's Cup eliminations, trampling Meralco, 108-96, on Sunday night at the PhilSports Arena.

The Hotshots exploded for 47 points in the third quarter, the most in a single quarter since 2016, which outscored their entire first-half output as they seized control of the game.

That turned out to be enough as the Bolts tried to come back in the fourth period only to fall short.

Paul Lee fired 27 points on 8-of-15 shooting including 5-of-9 on threes with two rebounds and one assist for Magnolia, which moved up to 9-2, a game ahead of Converge and 1.5 games ahead of Ginebra for the second seed, which would mean a once-to-advance edge in the quarterfinals.

Calvin Abueva added 17 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block, while Nick Rakocevic chipped in 16 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

KJ McDaniels made 32 points, nine rebounds, four assists, one steal, and three blocks for Meralco, whose bid to make the quarterfinals hit a crucial snag as the team fell to 4-6.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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