Defending champion Magnolia kept its chances of securing a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals after beating Columbian 118-103 Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Import Romeo Travis had his best game since being sidelined from an ankle injury, posting 28 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Hotshots moved to solo sixth with an even 4-4 record.
Ian Sangalang also stepped up for the Hotshots with 24 points and eight rebounds while Jio Jalalon and Rome dela Rosa added 19 and 16 points in the victory.
The Hotshots, who put themselves closer toward a spot in the quarterfinals, won for the first time since a 95-90 win over the Alaska Aces last Oct. 6.
Magnolia has since lost to San Miguel Beer (90-89) with Travis hurting his right ankle, Blackwater (95-89) with its import sitting out to recuperate and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (105-83).
Coach Chito Victolero’s squad will need however to amped up its game in order to secure a top four finish with three games to go in the eliminations.
Magnolia meets Phoenix Pulse on Nov. 6 at the Cuneta Astrodome followed by games against the two best teams in the league in NLEX on Nov. 10 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City and TNT KaTropa on Nov. 16 in Davao City,
Rookie CJ Perez posted 28 points and eight rebounds and import Khapri Alston posted 26 points and 14 rebounds but the Dyip dropped to seventh spot with a 4-5 record.
Tough games lie ahead for the Dyip, who battle Meralco on Nov. 8 and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Nov. 15 at the Big Dome.
MAGNOLIA 118 — Travis 28, Sangalang 24, Jalalon 19, Dela Rosa 16, Barroca 10, Pingris 8, Herndon 6, Lee 5, Pascual 2, Melton 0.
COLUMBIAN 103 — Perez 28, Alston 26, McCarthy 18, Tiongson 13, Cahilig 6, Corpuz 5, Khobuntin 5, Calvo 2, Faundo 0.
Quarters: 27-29; 61-52; 88-76; 118-103.