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Sports

Magnolia disconnects Converge; Bay Area remains spotless

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Magnolia disconnects Converge; Bay Area remains spotless
Nicholas Rakocevic (in white)
PBA media bureau

MANILA, Philippines — The Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots turned back the Converge FiberXers, 109-105, for a 2-0 start to their PBA Commissioner's Cup campaign at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.

After trailing by double digits heading into the final salvo, the Hotshots uncorked a 14-0 run in four minutes to tie the game at 87-all with 7:33 left in the game.

Trading baskets from then on, the FiberXers were within two, 105-107, after an Abu Tratter triple with 23 seconds remaining on the clock.

But RK Ilagan fouled Calvin Abueva in the next possession to send the 10-year veteran to the charity stripe. Abueva made both his free throws to extend Magnolia's advantage to a two-possession lead.

Ilagan and reinforcement Quincy Miller then both missed on three point attempts on the other end for Converge as Magnolia held on for the victory.

Balanced scoring saw six Magnolia players finish in double-digit scoring led by Nicholas Rakocevic with 21 points and 24 boards.

Paul Lee added 20 markers off of the bench to pace the locals while Mark Barroca added 19 points of his own.

Miller had 38 points and 16 boards in the losing effort for Converge.

Magnolia faces Philippine Cup runners-up TNT Tropang Giga next on Wednesday, October 5.

In the earlier game, the Bay Area Dragons bucked a slow start against the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters to remain spotless in three games, 101-91.

After an opening salvo that saw the guest team trail the winless Phoenix, 16-29, Myles Powell picked up steam as they erased a deficit as big as 16 points.

Powell ended up with a double-double of 32 points and 10 rebounds to go along with two assists and four steals to pace the Dragons in the comeback victory.

The Dragons play the FiberXers next on Friday, October 7.

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