MARK Barroca scored a game-high 21 points in leading a balanced attack that powered Magnolia to a cruising 95-77 win over Phoenix Super LPG Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Barroca added five rebounds, six assists and another game-high in five steals while Aris Dionisio, Jio Jalalon, Ian Sangalang and Jackson Corpuz delivered their own all-around performances in leading the Hotshots to a second straight win that evened up their record at 3-3.
Dionisio posted a new career-high with 19 points on top of seven rebounds, Jalalon had 15 points, eight rebounds and as many assists, Sangalang notched a 14-10 double-double and Corpuz chipped in 14 points and five boards.
Still, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero mainly credited his team's defense in fashioning the wire-to-wire win despite the absence of Paul Lee (back spasms), the suspended Calvin Abueva and Jerrick Ahanmisi (ankle sprain).
"We just tried to focus on our defense," said Victolero. "We basically focused on their press break and our defensive schemes on their players."
His less-heralded Hotshots also stepping up also pleased Victolero. "Next man up, 'yun talaga mentality namin ngayon... because we don't want... na maging excuse 'yung mga may injuries. Our mentality is to just fight kung sino man available now."
Javee Mocon's 19 points and Sean Manganti's 11 were enough to lead Phoenix, which saw its main players Matthew Wright and Jason Perkins limited to numbers way below their averages, being held to just nine and five points, respectively.
As a result, Phoenix saw its winning roll cut short at two as it slid to a 2-3 slate.
The Fuel Masters also failed to come up with their usual intensity, getting swallowed up by the Hotshots' 11-0 start to the game before finding themselves falling behind by as much as 54-27.
The victory that was way more comfortable than Magnolia's 89-84 decision over Barangay Ginebra last Sunday still posed some anxious moments as Rome dela Rosa suffered a wound at the back of his head after colliding with Manganti just seconds into the fourth period. (NC)
(Photo credits to: PBA)