The new-look Kia Picanto gave the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok trouble in the first half of the ball game but when Paul Lee got going in the third quarter, there was no stopping coach Chito Victolero’s squad as they dominated in the second half and won 124-77, in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Ian Sangalang was named as the Best Player of the Game with 21 points, nine rebounds, and two steals off the bench but the Hotshots featured a balanced attack with six players scoring in double digits and all 10 who saw action in the game produced at least two points.
“Yung last game namin maganda nga yung naging laro ako pero talo naman kami,” said Sangalang after the game. “Ngayon kahit bumaba yung score ko, panalo naman kami kaya mas masaya.”
Coach Victolero has been very vocal about his confidence in the big man as he thinks Sangalang can still improve and be one of the better big men in the league.
“Yung mga sinasabi na ganyan ng mga teammates at coaches ko, nagpapasalamat ako pero hindi ko pinapasok sa ulo ko,” Sangalang added. “Hindi ko iniisip na magaling na ako kasi gusto kong mag-improve pa.”
The first 24 minutes of coach Ricky Dandan’s stint with the Kia Picanto went well as they led versus Magnolia 49-47. It was clear in the first half that they wanted to put a premium on defense.
From coach Chris Gavina’s free-wheeling offense, the Picanto now concentrated on their half-court game. They outrebounded Magnoloa 34-24 in the first half. Kia also looked more patient on offense as they looked for the best possible shot instead of settling for the first open one.
However, it all fell apart for the Picanto in the third period. After only committing seven turnovers in the first half, they threw the ball away 10 times in the third and the Hotshots took full advantage. Paul Lee scored all of his 13 points in that period as he spearheaded a 34-11 quarter for Magnolia.
It would not end there as the Hotshots scattered 43 points in the final canto to complete the blowout win.
Justin Melton led Magnolia in scoring with 23 points as he went 5-of-6 from the three-point range. Rookie Robbie Herndon bounced back from a poor showing against Ginebra as he scored 14 points while PJ Simon and the returning Jio Jalalon added 11 markers apiece.
The former members of the San Miguel Beermen led the fight for Kia as Rashawn McCarthy, Jay-R Reyes, and Ronald Tubid combined for 34 points. Reden Celda added 11.
“Ang gusto lang naman talaga namin is for the team to be healthy,” Victolero said after the game. “Si Ping takaw aksidente talaga kaya sana swertehin naman this 2018. We’re happy na nakabalik na rin si Jio kasi he gives us energy. Sana si Rafi (Reavis) makarecover na rin para makumpleto na kami.”
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.
– Kia finished the game with 25 turnovers (18 in the second half) which is only two better than their last loss against Phoenix where they had 27. Magnolia turned these turnovers to 37 points on the other end.
– The Hotshots dominated the assist department 33-17 and doubled up on steals 10-5.
Kia – Alaska Aces on January 14 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum
Magnolia – NLEX Road Warriors on January 14 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum