MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia pulled off an escape act against Rain or Shine in a pulsating 69-68 triumph for its second win in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, October 4.
Import Romeo Travis did most of the heavy lifting with 26 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals as the Hotshots now won back-to-back matches after dropping their conference-opener for a 2-1 record.
Travis was magnificent on both ends, scoring 5 straight points to give his side a 68-58 lead before staving off a major Elasto Painters run with a steal to pave the way for a Mark Barroca foul shot that settled the score.
Rain or Shine knotted the score at 68-68 with 10 unaswered points but could not take the upper hand as Travis swiped the ball from Kayel Locke and dished it to Barroca, who split his free throws with less than a minute left.
A Barroca miss with 9 seconds remaining gave the Elasto Painters another crack at the victory only to witness Gabe Norwood miss his jumper from the elbow as the final buzzer sounded.
Barroca chipped in 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists, Ian Sangalang had 8 points and 5 rebounds, while Paul Lee added 7 points in the low-scoring affair that saw the two teams combine for only 17 points after the opening quarter.
In that period, the Elasto Painters scored only 6 points after missing all of their 16 shot attempts, becoming the first team in PBA history with no field goals in a quarter.
Javee Mocon finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds for Rain or Shine, which lost their second straight match and dropped to 1-3 despite replacing former import Joel Wright with Locke.
Locke churned out 13 points and 9 rebounds against 6 turnovers in his PBA debut, while Beau Belga added 9 points in the losing effort.
Magnolia 69 - Travis 26, Sangalang 8, Barroca 8, Lee 7, Reavis 6, Dela Rosa 5, Jalalon 4, Melton 3, Pingris 2, Herndon 0, Brondial 0.
Rain or Shine 68 - Mocon 14, Locke 13, Belga 9, Borboran 7, Yap 6, Daquioag 5, Exciminano 5, Ponferada 3, Norwood 2, Nambatac 2, Torres 2, Onwubere 0, Rosales 0.
Quarters: 11-6, 32-25, 47-52, 69-68.
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.