Once known as the Star Hotshots, now its Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok and won its first game in the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup after beating the Alaska Aces, 108-95.
Paul Lee who was reported as having an injury during the pre-game exploded with 30 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Most of the “Lee-thal” damage came from the three-point territory where he converted six of his shots in eight attempts.
“Three days pa lang nag-eensayo yan. Iba talaga ang puso niya,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
The Alaska Aces looked sharp during the first quarter where they lead as much as 10 points but in the following periods it was all Hotshots.
It was a physical game especially in the second half where Vic Manuel got a bloody face when he was accidentally elbowed by Kyle Pascual. Paul Lee also seen hit the deck when he got scrambbled with Calvin Abueva.
“Our guys know that we’re badly undermanned and they needed to step up. I’m proud of what they showed against the Alaska team na very inspired at motivated dahil nakabalik na yung mga players nilang galing sa injury,” said Victolero.
This year’s draft pick number 5, Jeron Teng had a stellar debut logging 16 points and was on the basketball court in 25 minutes.
However, the son of Alvin Teng wasn’t able to return in the fourth quarter when the Aces attempted to make a comeback.
Magnolia’s rookie Robbie Herndon also played well in his first game in the PBA. The Filipino-American contributed 9 points and 7 rebounds plus his crucial turn around basket when Alaska pushing to keep the score close.
Magnolia vs Alaska Box Score
Magnolia 108 – Lee 30, Gamalinda 15, Sangalang 13, dela Rosa 10, Simon 9, K. Pascual 9, Herndon 9, Barroca 6, Melton 3, Brondial 2, Ramos 2
Alaska 95 – Abueva 20, Manuel 20, Teng 16, Casio 10, R. Pascual 7, Enciso 5, Exciminiano 5, Banchero 4, Thoss 3, J. Pascual 2, Cruz 2, Magat 1