MANILA, Philippines–Magnolia came back from 26 points down to stun defending champion Barangay Ginebra, 93-91, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Sunday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots turned in a cutthroat second half to overhaul what seemed an insurmountable deficit and ultimately extend the club’s unbeaten start to four games.
“Talk about effort. At halftime, I kept on reminding them about being outworked. (The Gin Kings) outworked us in the first half, and bullied us in the first half. I just urged the guys to play Magnolia basketball … and [my players] responded to my challenge,” head coach Chito Victolero said.
Import Tyler Bey was solid once again for the Hotshots with 31 points and 10 rebounds. Jio Jalalon tossed in 15 points while Mark Barroca added 13 into the scoring effort that dealt the crowd darlings their first defeat in their bid to keep the conference title.
The Gin Kings drew 21 points both from import Tony Bishop Jr. and off-season pickup Maverick Ahanmisi. Christian Standhardinger added 13 while Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson 12 each in an embarrassing collapse before a gallery filled mostly of their fans.
Ginebra’s 26 points that night was the biggest lead the Magnolia franchise overcame since pulling out an 86-84 overtime triumph against Tim Cone’s Alaska in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference. Then carrying the Purefoods branding, the club battled back from 29 points down to win the contest.
Magnolia can annex a fifth win against NLEX on Dec. 1. Barangay Ginebra, meanwhile, has a chance to quickly return to the win column when it battles struggling Rain or Shine this coming Friday.