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Magnolia inches closer to finals spot after Game 5 win vs NLEX


By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

Magnolia Hotshots pulled off an 87-78 semifinals Game 5 win over NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Sunday night.

The Hotshots once again leaned on their patented defense, plus a fourth quarter barrage, in which they opened the period on a 25-8 run, to hold off the Road Warriors en route to a pivotal 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Mark Barroca scored 18 points, while Aldrech Ramos and Paul Lee each added 15 for Magnolia, which can officially clinch the other seat in the Last Dance on Tuesday night as the series moves back to the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Kiefer Ravena led NLEX, which lost Kevin Alas due to a knee injury just 40 seconds into the game, with 21 markers.

Box Scores:

Magnolia-87 : Barroca 18, Lee 15, Ramos 15, Sangalang 12, Simon 7, Dela Rosa 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 2, Gamalinda 2, Jalalon 2, Herndon 0, Mendoza 0

NLEX-78 : Ravena 21, Mallari 13, Soyud 11, Fonacier 9, Miranda 8, Quiñahan 8, Rios 3, Taulava 2, Tiongson 2, Baguio 1, Alas 0

Quarter scores: 20-20, 37-36, 59-58, 87-78 (PNA)