Magnolia Hotshots guard known as the “Angas ng Tondo” made his introduction to San Miguel Beermen import Kevin Murphy yesterday evening at the Big Dome.
The game has so many heroes but the guys who standout were Paul Lee and Justin Melton who made crucial baskets in the final few second of the fourth quarter where they lifted their team, 109-108.
With that victory, Magnolia is now sharing the second spot with 4-1 slate in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup standings.
Justin Melton found himself open in the corner three and without hesitation, he launched a shot and the ball went straight to the bottom of the net. Then on the next Hotshots possession, Paul Lee launched his own quick jumper for two points and also converts.
For the Beermen, that defeat brought them deeper in the standings as they’re now staring their 2-3 win-loss card.
Former Utah Jazz player and the replacement of AZ Reid, Kevin Murphy made a stellar debut by dropping 37 points.
“I talked to my players at halftime, telling them the first half was not our game. It was an offensive game. If we want a shot at the game, we have to turn the game into a defensive battle. And we did, especially in the final minute,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
“Hindi namin kilala yung import nila. Now we know, he’s a scorer; he’s a good player,” Victolero also said. “But credit to my players especially Justin Melton, Jio Jalalon and Rome dela Rosa, they tried their best to stop him.”
With the defensive effort thrown by Melton to Murphy in the last seconds stretch plus the three-pointer he made earned him appeciation to his coach.
Alex Cabagnot’s missed jumper gave Magnolia a chance to tie and even take the lead which actually happen when Paul Lee able to drill his floater.
With 33 seconds left in the game, the ball possession went to San Miguel.
However, with the tight defense executed by Magnolia, the Beermen unable to locate open jumpers. Kelly Nabong launched a way-way far behind the three-point line then missed. Christian Standhardinger able to grab the offensive rebound but his backboard shot was also a miss then Alax Cabagnot’s runner got denied by Ian Sangalang.
It was a messy SMB offensive play as players of both teams got scrammbled.
“Crucial yung three-pointer ni Justin. Nabuhay kami. Ang ganda ng dinepensa niya, umiskor pa ng malaking basket,” said Victolero of Melton.
Paul Lee had his conference-high by logging 28 points while Justin Melton added 12 points, three board and two steals.
Paul Lee Game Winner
— PBA (@pbaconnect) September 30, 2018
Hotshots Romeo Travis working in the background and doing all the intangibles. Travis had 18 points along with his 12 rebounds.
SMB import Kevin Murphy teased a triple-double performance in his first game in the PBA. He got 37 points, ten rebounds and seven assists plus his stellar range in the floor. Only time will tell when he will have his 50-point breakout in the tournament.
Without June Mar Fajardo, manning the post went to the shoulders of Christian Standhardinger. The number one pick of last year’s draft tallied 27 points and 16 rebounds.
Magnolia vs San Miguel Box Score
Quarters: 29-36 | 57-61 | 84-88 | 109-108
Hotshots (109) – Lee 28, Travis 18, Sangalang 16, Melton 12, Dela Rosa 10, Barroca 8, Jalalon 5, Ramos 3, Simon 3, Gamalinda 2, Reavis 2, Brondial 2
Beermen (108) – Murphy 37, Standhardinger 27, Lassiter 14, Santos 8, Nabong 6, Ross 6, Cabagnot 4, Heruela 3, Pessumal 3