The Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok opened their best-of-seven series against the San Miguel Beermen yesterday evening from the Big Dome.
Ian Sangalang tried to match the performance of SMB five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo in operating inside the post.
Though the numbers favored to the “Kraken” but at least Sangalang got the last laugh in Game One.
“June Mar is unstoppable. He’s really dominant every game, but I stayed positive, just did my job, at medyo na-contain ko naman siya in the crucial part,” said Sangalang.
Sangalang tallied 17 points along with his 12 rebounds. Enough statline for him to be named as the “Bida Player of the Game”.
“We’ll continue to trust each other. Kapag nakabunot pa kami ng isa, ibang usapan na ito; magiisip na sila na kaya namin sila i-stop,” said Sangalang.
June Mar Fajardo paced the Beermen with his monstrous performance of 35 points and 21 rebounds.
Fajardo tried to carry his team to make a comeback in the fourth quarter where he scored the Beermen 15 straight points.
That was also the moment when Beermen shooters unable to find knockdown their three-point or perimeter shot targets.
Marcio Lassiter had the chance to tie the game at 97-all but his shot only hits the side board. Lassiter continue to struggle as he shoots 0-of-8.
Game Two is scheduled on Friday and will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Magnolia vs San Miguel Box Score
Quarters: 34-30 | 52-55 | 80-73 | 99-94
Hotshots (99) – Lee 18, Sangalang 17, Barroca 17, Jalalon 16, Reavis 12, Melton 11, Ramos 4, Dela Rosa 4
Beermen (94) – Fajardo 35, Cabagnot 18, Santos 13, Pessumal 11, Romeo 8, Ross 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Standhardinger 2