(Mall of Asia Arena)
4:30 p.m. – Rain or Shine vs GlobalPort
7 p.m. – Ginebra vs Blackwater
Paul Lee scored all of his 13 points in the third quarter while igniting a big pullaway as Magnolia gave new Kia coach Ricky Dandan a rude welcome with a 124-77 victory last night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Lee atoned for a scoreless first half by making all five shots in the third that allowed the Hotshots to turn a tight contest into another blowout loss for the Picanto to register their second victory in three matches this conference.
Justin Melton led all scorers with 23 points while Ian Sangalang added 21 points and nine rebounds for Magnolia, which dealt Kia its 15th consecutive defeat dating back to the final game of last season’s Commissioner’s Cup.
The Picanto absorbed the longest skid since 2008 when the Welcoat Dragons (now-Rain or Shine Elasto Painters lost 15 straight in-between the Philippine Cup and Fiesta Conference), a dubious run to open Dandan’s first coaching stint in the pro ranks.
Dandan, who was elevated to the head coaching ranks following the resignation of Chris Gavina before the end of 2017, saw Kia give Magnolia all it could handle, even taking a 9-2 lead at the start before going to the locker room up 49-47 at halftime.
But Lee made 10 during a 13-2 run in a four-minute stretch, putting Magnolia ahead 65-53 with 4:14 to go in the third. The Hotshots never looked back.
Coach Chito Victolero praised his team’s defensive effort that saw Magnolia force Kia to commit 11 turnovers in the third quarter, paving the way for Lee to wax hot.
“Maganda yung alagwa namin nung third quarter and it started dun sa pressure defense namin,” said Victolero, who praise Mark Barroca and the returning Jio Jalalon for providing pressure on Kia’s backcourt.
The Hotshots also made 11-of-27 threes, redeeming themselves from a lousy 4-of-22 clip in their 89-78 loss to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Christmas Day at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Jalalon made his season debut after recovering from a knee injury. He finished with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in 21 minutes off the bench.
MAGNOLIA 124 – Melton 23, Sangalang 21, Herndon 14, Lee 13, Simon 11, Jalalon 11, Ramos 7, Gamalinda 6, Pingris 6, Barroca 4, Pascual 4, Dela Rosa 2, Brondial 2.
KIA 77 – Reyes 12, McCarthy 11, Celda 11, Tubid 11, Corpuz 9, Yee 6, Khobuntin 5, Paniamogan 5, Jamon 3, Caperal 2, Sara 2, Camson 0, Ababou 0, Galanza 0.
Quarters: 22-22; 49-47; 81-60; 124-77.