Magnolia blows past Phoenix for its 4th straight win

MANILA — The Magnolia Hotshots razed a five-point deficit in the last three minutes with a 13-2 run to defeat the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 97-92, in the PBA Philippine Cup Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Paul Lee led the Hotshots with 20 points while Rafi Reavis hit crucial baskets at crunch time to propel the Hotshots to their fourth straight win in five games, firming up their hold of the solo second spot in the standings behind the still undefeated San Miguel Beer (4-0). The 40-year-old Reavis finished with 11 points, all scored in the fourth quarter, on top of 11 boards and three blocks.

Resurgent Rome dela Rosa added 17 points and four rebounds while Ian Sangalang chipped in 16 points and seven boards for the Hotshots.

Magnolia out-rebounded Phoenix, 55-39, with Marc Pingris leading all rebounders with 17 caroms.

Phoenix blew a 10-point lead in the final period, failing to score in the final three minutes, to absorb its second straight loss and third overall in five games.

Gelo Alolino paced the Fuel Masters with19 points while Matthew Wright added 17 in a losing effort.

Kia 98, Rain or Shine 94

The Kia Picanto ended their longest drought in franchise history, finally breaking into the win column with a stunning 98-94 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

The victory snapped a 16-game losing streak dating back to the last season. The last time the Picanto won was way back on May 21, 2017, when they defeated Phoenix in double overtime. In its last four matches in the Philippine Cup prior to Saturday’s game, Kia lost by an average of 35.7 points per game.

A team composed of benchwarmers, role players and rookies finally found a way to win as they improved to a 1-4 win-loss card while handling a suddenly cold and erratic E-Painters their third loss in five games.

Glen Khobuntin scored the biggest baskets for Kia in the endgame, hitting eight of his 11 points in the final quarter, including back-to-back baskets that gave Kia a 96-89 lead with 1:52 remaining.

The E-Painters made a last-ditch stand, racking up five straight points to cut Kia’s lead to 96-94 with less than a minute left. The Picanto committed two straight turnovers giving ROS all the chances in the world to tie or even win the game, but the E-Painters missed two free throws and five shots from the field, allowing Kia to finally taste victory.

Former SMB bench player Rashawn McCarthy and unheralded new recruit Roider Cabrera led Kia with 14 points each. Mark Yee added 13 points and eight rebounds.

Kia won despite its starting center Eric Camson getting ejected in the second quarter after brawling with ROS’ Raymond Almazan, who was likewise ejected.

Rookie Rey Nambatac led the E-Painters with 12 points and 11 rebounds. James Yap scored 11 points while Chris Tiu and Jewel Ponferada added 10 markers apiece. The shocking loss came just three days after ROS demolished Phoenix with a 21-point victory, 120-99.

Games Sunday: TNT KaTropa Texters (2-2) vs. Meralco Bolts (1-2) and Alaska Aces (2-2) vs. Barangay Ginebra Kings (2-1).