Lee sparkles as Magnolia beats NLEX


MANILA — The Magnolia Hotshots led from start to finish en route to a 105-94 victory over the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Hotshots notched their second straight win and third overall against one loss as they grabbed the No. 2 spot in the standings behind undefeated San Miguel Beer (3-0).

The Road Warriors absorbed their second loss in fourth outings.

A rejuvenated Paul Lee led the Hotshots with 21 points, three rebounds, and four assists. Rome dela Rosa came off the bench to add 14 points, seven of them in the final quarter, along with four boards and two assists in nearly 30 minutes in his best game yet for Magnolia. Aldrech Ramos and Robbie Herndon chipped in 11 points apiece. Marc Pingris only scored seven points but hauled down a team-high 15 rebounds.

Super rookie Kiefer Ravena bounced back from a measly eight-point production in NLEX’s last game to churn out a career-high 31 points on Sunday night in a losing effort. The player they call the “Phenom” also finished with five assists, four rebounds, and four steals in the game.

JR Quinahan posted 22 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks while Kevin Alas had 13 points, seven of them in the payoff quarter, but all went down the drain.

Magnolia came out on fire from the get-go, leading by double-digits for most parts of the game. The Hotshots unleashed an 18-3 run in the third quarter to take a 23-point lead, 71-48.

Ravena led a fierce NLEX rally in the fourth, cutting Magnolia’s lead to eight, 87-79, with 9:16 left. But the Hotshots quickly repulsed the Road Warriors’ last hurrah with an 18-8 run that gave them a 105-87 lead as they coasted to victory.

Alaska 102, Kia 65

The Alaska Aces demolished the Kia Picanto, 102-65, to notch their second straight win after starting the conference at 0-2.

Rookie Jeron Teng led the Aces with 23 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Five other Aces scored in double digits with Carl Bryan Cruz tallying 16 points, including three triples, on top of nine rebounds, one assist, and one steal without a turnover in 17 minutes off the bench.

Chris Banchero added 11 points while Calvin Abueva, Vic Manuel, and Jake Pascual chipped in 10 apiece.

Alaska used its vaunted pressure defense to tore Kia to pieces, handling the league doormat its fourth straight defeat and 16th loss overall extending to the last season. The Aces mercilessly pounced on the bewildered Picanto in the third quarter, allowing Kia to score just 5 points in that period while pouring 36 points on the offensive end en route to the 37-point blowout victory.

Overall, Alaska held Kia to a horrendous 32.4 percent shooting from the field (24 of 74 shots). The Aces led by as many as 40 points, 86-46, in the fourth period.

Kia turned the ball over 29 times and was badly outrebounded by Alaska, 44-62.

Shawn McCarthy led the hapless Picanto with 16 points, Eric Camson tallied 15 while Ronald Tubid added 13 in a losing effort.

Games Wednesday: Phoenix Fuel Masters (2-1) vs. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (1-2) and TNT KaTropa Texters (1-2) vs. Blackwater Elite (2-1).