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Magnolia bounces back, moves closer to PBA Philippine Cup finals


Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots moved closer to 2021 PBA Philippine Cup finals after an 81-69 win over Meralco Bolts in Game 4 of the semifinals on Sunday night at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Calvin Abueva tallied double-double 17 points and 12 rebounds, Ian Sangalang added double-double 17 points and 10 boards as the Hotshots took a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Andy Mark Barroca also ended up with 17 points and six assists, while Jiovani Jalalon added 10 markers for Magnolia, which can wrap up the semifinals series on Wednesday.

Holding to a 23-18 lead after the first 12 minutes, the Hotshots broke away in the second period on conversions from Jalalon, Sangalang and Jerrick Ahanmisi for a 46-35 halftime lead.

Magnolia went on with its rampage in the third period on inside attacks by Abueva and Sangalang as the lead reached its largest at 71-50 on free throws by Paul Lee early in the fourth quarter.

Meralco responded with a huge run behind Reynel Hugnatan to trim the deficit to 69-74 but a three-pointer by Barroca and free throws by Rafael Reavis and Sangalang to seal the win.

Hugnatan finished the game with 21 points, including three triples, to go with nine rebounds, while Clifford Hodge and Chris Newsome contributed 13 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Bolts.