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Lee stars as Magnolia routs NLEX

Paul Lee of Magnolia splits the NLEX defense mounted by Cyrus Baguio, Mike Miranda and JR Quiñahan as teammate Marc Pingris looks on. The Hotshots won over 105-94 in the nightcap of the Sunday PBA action at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. | PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines — Magnolia flashed its usual dominant form this time against the stacked NLEX side, scoring a wire-to-wire  105-94 victory in the nightcap of the PBA’s skirmishes at the Big Dome on Sunday night.

Paul Lee, as if not coming off from a long layoff, scattered 21 points to help the Hotshots keep their foot on the pedal for four quarters. 

Rome dela Rosa added 13 points while rookie Robbie Herndon and Aldrech Ramos combined for 22 off the bench to help in the effort. The perennial quarterfinalists led by as many as 23.

"It's all about our effort especially in the second half,” head coach Chito Victolero said. "Whole game ang effort ng mga bata andoon. We just tried to be mentally tough sa dulo. We know NLEX can come back anytime.” 

"I know it's a very physical game and I'm very proud of my players because of the composure. Ang tawagan consistent na ganoon, maganda sa mga players, up and down. We just needed to adjust on the calls, adjust on the game. Maganda ang naging adjustments namin sa depensa,” he closed.

Marc Pingris, who just rejoined the Hotshots on Christmas Day, made his presence felt via the rebounding department. He registered 15 to go with bis seven game points.

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Highly touted NLEX rookie Kiefer Ravena, posted a career-best 31 points to pace his team. He added five dimes and four assists. JR Quiñahan added 22 more markers in the losing stand.

The Hotshots square off with the Fuel Masters next on Saturday, January 20, at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay. NLEX, on the other hand, takes on the unbeaten San Miguel Beer the day before, also in the same venue.

The Scores:

MAGNOLIA 105 - Lee 21, Dela Rosa 14, Herndon 11, Ramos 11, Jalalon 9, Simon 9, Melton 7, Pingris 7, Barroca 5, Sangalang 5, Reavis 4, Gamalinda 2, Brondial 0, Pascual 0.

NLEX 94 - Ravena 31, Quiñahan 22, Alas 13, Miranda 9, Fonacier 8, Mallari 5, Baguio 4, Tiongson 2, Al-Hussaini 0, Gotladera 0, Rios 0.

Quarters: 30-18, 51-43, 85-68, 105-94.

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