Magnolia pips Phoenix to open PBA Comm's Cup semis

Tyler Bey led Magnolia to a 1-0 semis lead against Phoenix. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—Magnolia held on despite a tough challenge from Phoenix for an 82-79 win at the start of the PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Tyler Bey scored the go-ahead basket that helped the Hotshots gain a headstart to their best-of-five series against the Fuel Masters, although Phoenix had their chances in the end.

Bey broke a 78-all deadlock by scoring on a three-point play off a Paul Lee feed and a Javee Mocon foul for an 81-78 cushion for Magnolia with 1:27 remaining.

The team, however, struggled to close out Phoenix, and Johnathan Williams even had a chance to bring his team closer with two free throws off an Ian Sangalang foul.

Williams, though, split his charities, just trimming the lead down to two, 81-79, with 30 seconds left.

Mark Barroca missed a mid-range basket that could have iced the game for the Hotshots, but Ian Sangalang grabbed the offensive rebound, eventually leading to two charities from Bey with 3.8 seconds remaining.

Bey, however, split his own pair of charities, giving the Fuel Masters a crack at forcing overtime.

RJ Jazul was stripped while taking his three-point attempt, but the ball landed at the hands of Jason Perkins, who launched his own attempt in time only that his shot just hit the front iron.

Bey finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and one steal to lead Magnolia, while Lee added 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists.

Perkins put up 25 points, five rebounds, one assist, and two steals, while Mocon and Williams each chipped in 11 points with Williams also grabbing 18 rebounds for Phoenix.

In an interesting twist to start the game, Perkins, Mocon, and Williams came off the bench.

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