Hotshots escape struggling Bossing

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Hotshots escape struggling Bossing
Magnolia's Mark Barroca (14)
PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- The Magnolia Hotshots survived a furious rally by Blackwater and held on to an 81-77 victory Wednesday, sending the Bossing to their fifth straight loss in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

Mark Barroca led the Hotshots with 19 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals to lead four Magnolia players in double digits.

Magnolia was leading by 17 points, 67-50, in the fourth quarter after a jumper by Barroca.

The Bossing then erupted for a 21-9 run to cut the lead to five, 71-76, with 1:36 left in the game capped by a big corner triple by RK Ilagan.

After a good defensive possession by Blackwater that resulted in a 24 second violation by Magnolia, they had chances to inch closer but attempts by Troy Rosario and Rey Nambatac failed to make the mark.

A pair of free throws by Barroca down the stretch seemingly iced the game, 78-71, with 21.4 seconds to go.

James Kwekuteye tried to tow Blackwater back with a late trey, but freebies by Paul Lee put the game completely out of reach even though Rosario made a last-second 3-pointer.

Ian Sangalang, Calvin Abueva and Lee also had 10 markers apiece.

Kwekuteye and Rosario spearheaded the Bossing with 23 and 20 markers, respectively.

With the game tied at 34 at the half, Magnolia waxed hot in the third quarter and outscored their opponents 22-11 to break the game open, 56-45.

An 11-5 run to start the final quarter gave them their biggest lead of the game before Blackwater mounted the comeback.

Magnolia rose to 4-2 in the season, winning their third straight contest, while the Bossing dropped to 3-5.

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