Takeaways from PBA Wednesday: Magnolia’s Defense Remains Strong

Magnolia again leaned on their defense en route to their fourth straight win.

jalalon magnolia
Photo via PBA Images

Hotshots set tone on defense

The Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots banked on another great defensive stand, extending their winning streak to four with a 112-97 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Jio Jalalon, Paul Lee, and Mark Barroco all scored 19 apiece in the win, while import Antonio Hester hauled a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Magnolia couldn’t ask for a better opening quarter, building a 14-point lead after the first period. During that stretch, it was a balanced performance for the Hotshots, as they poured 33 points and used their defense to set the tone for the whole game.

Magnolia climbs to a 4-3 record, while Rain or Shine drops to 2-5. 

Main Takeaways

  • Prior to Wednesday's contest, Magnolia held their opponents to a league-worst 40.4 field goal percentage. They followed it up with an even better defensive stand, limiting Rain or Shine to just 34% shooting from the field.

  • It's the second straight game that Paul Lee dished out at least four assists. It's not much, but it's a positive trend, especially with Lee averaging a career-low 2.2 assists this season. Lee must use his consistent three-point shooting (41% on 9.7 3PA) to mix it up with paint touches so he could also generate scoring opportunities for his teammates.

  • Rain or Shine managed to take good care of the ball against an opponent that's good in forcing turnovers, but the Elasto Painters just can't put the ball through the hoop. Rain or Shine's lack of a consistent 20-point threat or a top-tier playmaker is hurting their offense.

NorthPort finally tallies a win

The NorthPort Batang Pier finally broke through the win column, defeating the Terrafirma Dyip, 115-100. Batang Pier import Kevin Murphy led all scorers with his 28 markers, while Robert Bolick came off the bench to tally 26 points, nine boards, and six assists. 

NorthPort now holds a 1-6 slate with four games left on their schedule, while Terrafirma drops to 2-6.

Main Takeaways

  • After producing 11 points and 9 rebounds in their last game, NorthPort's young big man JM Calma chipped in another near-double-double of 18 points and 9 rebounds in the win against Terrafirma. The jury is still out on Calma, but if he could bring impactful value on defense, he's definitely a young talent to keep track of.

  • Arwind Santos made his debut in the '23 Governors' Cup, logging seven minutes and finishing with one board and one assist. Santos is still a versatile defender at his age, and he will surely see his minutes go up in the next games. Santos's defensive acumen will be crucial in NorthPort's late playoff push.

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