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PBA: Magnolia clips slumping Blackwater for 3rd straight win

Mark Barroca continues his recent impression for streaking Magnolia. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Magnolia continued its mid-conference roll in the PBA Philippine Cup after taking down Blackwater, 81-77, on Wednesday night at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The Hotshots stifled the Bossing in the third quarter before holding them off in the fourth.

Tied at 34-all during the intermission, Magnolia outscored Blackwater, 22-11, in the third period to open a 56-45 lead heading to the fourth.

The Bossing still tried to crawl back to the game, cutting the lead down to just five, 76-71, with 1:36 left even as they forced back-to-back turnovers on the Hotshots to get more cracks at trimming the gap some more.

However, Troy Rosario and Rey Nambatac missed crucial layups, and Magnolia hit three clutch free throws to up their lead to eight, 79-71, with 13 seconds left.

James Kwekuteye scored on a rush three with 10 seconds left that cut the lead back to five, but Paul Lee hit two more charities to formally ice the win for the Hotshots.

Rosario hit a buzzer-beating three that cut the gap to the eventual final margin and could also have implications in the quotients race.

Barroca led Magnolia, now on a three-game winning streak to move up to 4-2, with 19 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Lee, Ian Sangalang, and Calvin Abueva each added 10 points with Abueva also grabbing 13 rebounds for the double-double.

With Rain Or Shine also keeping its winning streak alive earlier Wednesday by nipping NorthPort, the Saturday night showdown between ROS and Magnolia at the Tiaong Convention Center means someone's streak is about to be snapped.

Kwekuteye reset his PBA career-high as he led Blackwater with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, three rebounds, and four assists.

Rosario finished with 20 points, four rebounds, six assists, one block, and one steal as his team fell for the fifth straight time after a 3-0 start.

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