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Magnolia survives hot-shooting Oliver, TNT

Magnolia outlasted TNT, 94-92, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.

Cerebral guard Paul Lee came up with a big play, drawing a foul from import Cameron Oliver and completed two throws that served as the marginal baskets to keep the Hotshots undefeated after three games and vault their way in a share of the lead with the Bay Area Dragons.

Lee finished with 16 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the free throw area, but his endgame play was completely overshadowed by a solid performance of Calvin Abueva.

Abueva led the way with 25 points and nine boards while import Nick Rakocevic contributed 22 points, 15, rebounds, a steal and a block as the duo provided a good source energy for Magnolia, which came back from 13 points down at one stretch in the first half as the Hotshots had to adjust defending against NBA veteran Cameron Oliver.

Oliver, a candidate for Philippine naturalization, had monster debut of 43 points, built around seven three-point shots, while also pulling down 17 rebounds and dishing out five assists.

The Tropang Giga played minus injured key players — Jayson Castro, Mikey Williams, Glenn Khobuntin and veteran guard Ryan Reyes.

Castro and Williams are nursing ankle sprain injuries while Khobuntin is still recovering from an MCL injury.

Worse, TNT also played minus center Poy Erram, who had to serve a one-game suspension.

The scores:

Magnolia (94) — Abueva 25, Rakocevic 22, Lee 16, Barroca 13, Dionisio 9, Corpuz 5, Mendoza 3, Wong 1, Reavis 0, Jalalon 0, Zaldivar 0.

TNT (92) — Oliver 43, Pogoy 23, Oftana 12, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Montalbo 4, Marcelo 3, Alejandro 3, Cruz 0, Tungcab 0, K. Williams 0.

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