by Jonas Terrado
Games Tomorrow (Cuneta Astrodome)
4:30 p.m. – Alaska vs TNT KaTropa
7 p.m. – Meralco vs Rain or Shine
Surging Magnolia barged inside the top eight of the PBA Philippine Cup after posting a crucial victory over Columbian, 109-83, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ian Sangalang produced 16 points and six rebounds while three others scored in double figures as the Hotshots moved to seventh place at 3-4 following back-to-back wins.
Mark Barroca had 14 points and six assists, Rome dela Rosa posted 12 points and seven rebounds and Aldrech Ramos added 10 for Magnolia, which won three of its last four after a 0-3 start.
“Our run to the playoffs is getting better,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. “Although we’re still in the middle of the standings, we feel that we’re getting better because of our rhythm and defensive mindset.”
Magnolia began the conference with losses to TNT KaTropa, San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine before scoring a breakthrough win over Meralco in Cagayan de Oro City.
The Hotshots absorbed a heartbreaking setback to the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters before bouncing back with Saturday’s 103-86 romp of the Alaska Aces in Antipolo City.
Rashawn McCarthy scored 19 points but the Dyip dropped to 4-6 with one game left against TNT KaTropa on March 22 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Columbian fell to eighth place but the defeat put coach Johnedel Cardel’s team in danger of missing the quarterfinals.
The Dyip got to within four thrice in the third, the last at 56-52 on two free throws by rookie CJ Perez with less than six minutes remaining in the said period.
MAGNOLIA 109 – Sangalang 16, Barroca 14, Dela Rosa 12, Ramos 10, Jalalon 9, Brondial 9, Pascual 8, Reavis 7, Melton 6, Lee 6, Simon 5, Gamalinda 4, Herndon 3, Abundo 0, Calisaan 0.
COLUMBIAN 83 – McCarthy 19, Perez 14, Corpuz 12, Camson 9, Khobuntin 6, Faundo 5, Calvo 5, Reyes 4, Gabriel 4, Cahilig 4, Agovida 1, Escoto 0, Cabrera 0, Celda 0,.
Quarters: 22-12, 48-38, 75-57, 109-83.