The Rundown From PBA Wednesday: Meralco, Magnolia Prevail in Battle of Sister Teams

Magnolia comes up in the clutch to solidify their quest for the top seed in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Magnolia vs SMB
Photo via PBA Images

Paul Lee hits two crucial three-pointers to give Magnolia the win

Nick Rakocevic had yet another monstrous game, but it was Paul Lee who was hailed the hero as the Magnolia Hotshots downed San Miguel Beermen, 85-80. The Serbian giant notched 26 points while shooting 50% from the field. Rakocevic also pulled down 28 rebounds to lead the Hotshots to their 8th win of the conference. 

Paul Lee, who finished the game with 14 points, managed to hit two crucial three-pointers in crunch time and then iced the game by converting two free throws in the dying seconds.  

Mark Barroca had a solid contribution, scoring 12 markers, while Ian Sangalang recorded his own double-double performance of 12 points and 14 boards. 

Devon Scott logged 45 minutes for the Beermen and finished the game with 19 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 dimes, but it was not enough to snatch a win. CJ Perez, who is coming off a Gilas stint, joined sharpshooter Marcio Lassiter and Vic Manuel in scoring 16 points apiece. The Beermen suffered their fifth loss in this conference. 

Bolts’ balanced scoring outlasts Tropang Giga

KJ McDaniels led the Meralco Bolts to a 97-91 victory against his former team, the TNT Tropang Giga. The former NBA veteran amassed 26 points and 15 rebounds to give the Bolts their 3rd straight win and boost the team’s chances of punching a ticket in the playoffs.

Along with McDaniels, three other starters finished the game in double digits. Raymond Almazan notched a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, Aaron Black finished with 17 points, along with 11 rebounds and six assists, and Bong Quinto contributed 13 markers and six boards. 

Chris Banchero was the only notable performer from the Bolts’ bench, scoring 10 points along with 6 boards. 

Meralco now stands with a 4-5 slate but is still without the services of star guard Chris Newsome. 

Cameron Oliver had an all-around production, tallying 25 points, 20 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Mikey Williams shrugged off his recent controversies with a 20-point performance for the Tropang Giga. 

Jason Castro and JP Erram provided the spark from the bench for TNT. Once hailed as the best point guard in Asia, Castro finished the game with 19 points and seven assists, while Erram had 10 markers and grabbed eight boards. 

With this loss, the Tropang Giga now owns a 4-5 slate.        

By the Numbers

  • 39%

    Paul Lee may not be scoring a bunch (12.0 PPG) but he is shooting efficiently from the three-point line with a 39% clip (5.7 3PA). Magnolia needs every bit of his three-point shooting, as he is the only Hotshot that's both logging significant minutes and spacing the floor well on offense.

  • 20

    Typically a team who takes good care of the ball (13.9 TO this conference), San Miguel committed 20 miscues in the loss to Magnolia. CJ Perez didn't have a particularly good game, shooting only 35% from the field and turning the ball over six times.

  • 92.7

    Despite another lowly shooting clip from import KJ McDaniels, Meralco again thrived through their defense. With McDaniels on board during their current three-game winning streak, the Bolts have held their opponents (including good offensive teams in Bay Area and TNT) to an average of 92.7 points.

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