Former Dalllas Mavericks guard Tyler Bey scored 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting in 34 minutes as Magnolia rode on a strong second-haf run to bring down NLEX, 99-72, for its fifth straight win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Mark Barroca, James Laput, Paul Lee and Jio Jalalon also came through with solid games for the Hotshots, who have not lost a game since winning their season opener against the TNT Tropang Giga last Nov. 5.
Barroca finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, Laput collected a career-high 16 points, Lee added 14 points and Jalalon contributed 11 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero credited the Hotshots’ “tremendous hustle, energy and effort” in their return from the halftime break to turn a 44-46 deficit into a 74-60 lead after three quarters.
The Hotshots, the only unbeaten team left at the halfway mark of the import-flavored conference, have also won over TNT Tropang Giga (110-102), Phoenix Super LPG (107-92), NorthPort Batang Pier (112-74) and Barangay Ginebra ( 93-91).
Overall, the win was the 16th straight for Magnolia dating back to the preseason PBA On Tour.
The win by Magnolia also spoiled the debut of NLEX import Stokley Chaffee, who finished with 23 points and 19 rebounds.
The new NLEX import had had 13 points and 14 rebounds in the first half, becoming only the second player this conference to record a double-double right in the first 24 minutes of play.
The first was Phoenix’s Johnathan Williams (14 and 10) last Nov. 10 curiously versus the Road Warriors themselves.
Earlier, NorthPort outsteadied TNT, 128-123, in overtime to escape with its third win in five outings.
Arvin Tolentino scattered 27 points, including seven in the extra period,while Fran Yu added a career-high 14 points and six assists for the Batang Pier of coach Bonnie Tan and team manager Pido Jarencio.