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PBA: Magnolia boosts playoff bid, holds down NorthPort

first_imgThe Hotshots turned up the defensive intensity in the second half, limiting the Batang Pier to just 31 points after surrendering 59 in the first two quarters of the match.“It was all about our defense in the second half,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. “We gave up 59 in the first half. That’s the most, I think, that we gave up this conference in the first half.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsAnd so Victolero sent his wards out of the halftime break with a simple message: “If we don’t play defense in the second half, we will lose this game.”The Hotshots responded. And the numbers showed it. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte View comments Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag “We limited [Stanley] Pringle, [Mo] Tautuaa and [Jonathan] Grey. The defense of our small guys on Pringle really worked. It was tiring, but at least we got the W and boosted our playoff chances,” said Victolero, whose wards rebounded from a tough 97-93 overtime defeat to Barangay Ginebra last Sunday.Grey led NorthPort’s first half assault with 14 points. He was scoreless in the second half. Pringle had 11 in the first two periods but scored just four in the final half. Jalen Green, FilAm Sports dominate Ateneo en route to NBTC Final 8 Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Google Philippines names new country director Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bumping off cutters and funneling drives to crammed, uncomfortable spaces in the middle, Magnolia limited NorthPort to just 24 percent shooting in the second half after the Batang Pier shot 58 percent in the first two periods anchored on 26 points off transition.“We gave up too many fastbreak points. Usually, if we give up 59 points, that’s already the third quarter for us,” Victolero said.The Hotshots were so disruptive defensively that NorthPort could only manage eight points in the last quarter—a franchise-low for a team that is currently on a six-game slide after a promising 2-0 start to the conference. The Hotshots thus climbed to 4-5 on a night Paul Lee fired 24 points and attracted a lot of NorthPort’s defensive focus.Lee hit a triple to bite into NorthPort’s lead and then Rodney Brondial, benefitting from the defensive attention Magnolia’s star guard was getting, found open spots and hit four straight points to give the Hotshots the lead, 83-82, early in the fourth.It was all Magnolia from thereon as NorthPort couldn’t dust off the scrappy, bruising pressure applied by the Hotshots on defense.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MANILA, Philippines–How does one bounce back from a strength-sapping, deflating defeat to a fierce rival? Play another scrappy, bruising game that would have further drained more energy—and morale—had it ended in another loss.This time, however, Magnolia came out with a win as it played in total grind-out fashion in the second half to subdue NorthPort, 103-90, and boost its playoff hopes on Wednesday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving MOST READ Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausslast_img read more

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