Calvin Abueva’s coronation as the Davco-Best Player of the Conference may have inspired him to deliver his best game in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals, but it was not enough to help Magnolia Pambansang Manok equalize the series against TNT.
Abueva fired 28 points spiked by four triples came after receiving his second BPC trophy before tipoff Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Despite those numbers, a listless second quarter put the Hotshots behind the 8-ball which eventually led to the 106-89 loss and needing to win the next three games which only one team had done after losing Game 4 of a best-of-seven PBA Finals.
Turnovers hounded the Hotshots in the first half, losing the ball 18 times which the Tropang Giga converted into 24 points.
It was a bit of a different scenario for Magnolia compared to its previous two losses when TNT’s good offense particularly from beyond the arc was primarily the reason.
Magnolia’s other main players produced quietly despite putting up good numbers by the time the final buzzer sounded.
Ian Sangalang had only four points in the first half before finishing with 17 points while Paul Lee did the opposite by making just three of his 15 in the second half.
Jio Jalalon struggled the whole game, going just two points and missed six of seven shots marred by getting blocked by Poy Erram and Troy Rosario in back-to-back attempts during the third.
The Hotshots can only hope that their main men, including Mark Barroca, lead a performance that equal or exceed their Game 3 victory to at least extend the series and gain confidence for a potential comeback.