Magnolia Pambansang Manok eased its way into a second straight semifinal meeting with Meralco after rolling past Phoenix Super LPG, 127-88, Friday, March 18 in the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots put the fight out of the Fuel Masters right from the beginning, showing no signs of the struggles in their shock loss to the Blackwater Bossing in the final game of the eliminations to gain a spot in the last four.
Eight players scored in double figures, with Paul Lee leading the charge with 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting as Magnolia will take on Meralco in another semis matchup.
Both teams met in a best-of-seven series in the Philippine Cup, with Magnolia needing six games to beat Meralco.
Calvin Abueva finally returned after missing the last seven games due to an injured calf and produced 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists in 19 minutes off the bench.
Mark Barroca, import Mike Harris, Jio Jalalon, Ian Sangalang, Adrian Wong and Rome dela Rosa all reached double figures while also contributing on defense which left Phoenix frustrated all evening.
Phoenix bid goodbye to the season with ace scorer Matthew Wright, ranked second in the early race for the Best Player of the Conference, being held to just eight points on 2-of-7 shooting.
Wright eventually fouled out in the third quarter, adding to the Fuel Masters’ woes.
The Fuel Masters would trail as high as 45 points before leaving the venue on the losing end of the biggest margin since they beat the NorthPort Batang Pier by 31 in the 2018 Governors’ Cup.
Import Du’Vaughn Maxwell had 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Phoenix.
MAGNOLIA 127 — Lee 25, Barroca 18, Harris 15, Jalalon 15, Abueva 12, Sangalang 11, Wong 11, Dela Rosa 10, Dionisio 5, Ahanmisi 3, Reavis 2, Corpuz 0, Brill 0, Escoto 0
PHOENIX 88 — Maxwell 32, Perkins 11, Garcia 10, Wright 8, Jazul 7, Melecio 7, Robles 6, Pascual 4, Demusis 3, Porter 0, Manganti 0, Rios 0, Camacho 0.
Quarters: 34-20, 66-46, 102-67, 127-88.