Mag­no­lia takes 2-1 lead

Game To­day: (Mall of Asia Arena) 7 p.m. – Barangay Ginebra vs San Miguel Beer


The sec­ond-seeded Mag­no­lia Hot­shots took the lead in their PBA Philip­pine Cup semi­fi­nal se­ries against the NLEX Road War­riors fol­low­ing a 106-99 vic­tory in Game 3 yes­ter­day at the Araneta Coli­seum.

Jalalon Ian San­galang spear­headed and Mag- Jio the se­ries. no­lia’s lead Hot­shots in of­fense the best-of-seven and take helped a 2-1

five Jalalon re­bounds had and 25 points three as­sists while San­galang added 24 points, seven re­bounds and an as­sist as Mag­no­lia logged back-to­back wins af­ter los­ing the se­ries opener last Satur­day.

Rookie Kiefer Ravena led the los­ing Road War­riors with 20 points, one re­bound and five as­sists. Go­ing for a tie

Mean­while, Tim Cone says that his Barangay Ginebra crew is not a one­and-done team, even if it is mighty San Miguel Beer his Gin Kings are up against.

But he also knows that it would take a whole lot to top­ple th­ese his­to­ry­seek­ing Beer­men.

“We got one, and we’re happy. But we’re not sat­is­fied,” Cone said on Tues­day night af­ter fi­nally putting one over the Beer­men and cut­ting San Miguel’s Fi­nal Four lead to 1-2.

“We have to play an Aplus-plus game and see if we can beat them again.”

The two-time Grand Slam win­ner hopes to get that from his Kings at 7 p.m. Thurs­day at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay to equal­ize, and they would have to do it with Greg Slaugh­ter on the side­lines still and while hav­ing to con­tend with the mam­moth June Mar Fa­jardo on the other end.

“He’s just amaz­ing, his bas­ket­ball IQ is off the charts. He just finds a way,” Cone said af­ter Fa­jardo scored 23 points and grabbed 13 re­bounds de­spite all kinds of de­fen­sive pres­sure all game long.

“We’re throw­ing ev­ery­thing at him, the kitchen sink and even the toi­let,” Cone said of Fa­jardo, the reign­ing four-time MVP. “He’s just hun­gry (for cham­pi­onships) and that makes him a very spe­cial player.”

If at all, Cone was im­pressed at how his charges came out for Game 3 just two night af­ter tak­ing a very painful loss, which speaks very well of the char­ac­ter of his team and which gives him hope that they could pull this one out even with Slaugh­ter out.

“They showed their never-say-die spirit,” Cone said. “You don’t come out of painful, painful losses like that and play as great.”

Chris Ross, San Miguel’s do-it-all point guard, did not play in the sec­ond half of Game 3.


Vet­eran Paul Lee of Mag­no­lia drives against rookie sen­sa­tion Kiefer Ravena of NLEX in Game 3 of the PBA Philip­pine Cup semi­fi­nals.

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