PBA: Magnolia fends off shorthanded TNT in season opener
MANILA, Philippines–Magnolia picked up where it left during the offseason series and held off shorthanded TNT, 110-102, to open on a winning note its season-opening PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import Tyler Bey scored 15 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter while grabbing 20 rebounds to help the Hotshots prevail despite attempts by the Tropang Giga to overhaul a double-digit deficit in the first game of the league’s 48th season.
Balanced contributions from Mark Barroca, Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, Aris Dionisio, Rome dela Rosa, James Laput and Jio Jalalon also key the win by Magnolia, which was coming off an 11-game sweep of the PBA On Tour exhibition tilt.
“The 11-0 record is in the past and we need to stick to the present and play this conference with commitment to win,” said coach Chito Victolero.
Barroca had 19 points, three rebounds and three assists while Lee produced 17 points despite a 6-of-16 shooting wiht five assists for Magnolia.
Calvin Abueva did not suit up for the Hotshots after undergoing an operation for hemorrhoid removal.
TNT lost after opening the season minus key guys in import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Mikey Williams, RR Pogoy and Poy Erram for various reasons.
Quincy Miller, a temporary replacement for Hollis-Jefferson and received a last-minute release from ex-team Converge, had 37 points and 14 rebounds but TNT never led from the start and only got close as three in the third.
Calvin Oftana showed why his confidence his high after winning gold for Gilas Pilipinas in the Hangzhou Asian Games produced 28 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals in the defeat.
MAGNOLIA 110—Bey 31, Barroca 19, Lee 17, Sangalang 9, Dionisio 9, Dela Rosa 8, Laput 8, Jalalon 5, Ahanmisi 4, Tratter 0, Eriobu 0.
TNT 102—Miller 37, Oftana 28, Williams K. 14, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Cruz 5, Castro 5, Khobuntin 4, Ponferada 3, Reyes 0, Tungcab 0, Heruela 0.
Quarters: 26-18, 56-49, 81-73, 110-102.