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Magnolia muzzles Bossing 

Magnolia finally displayed the defensive intensity it is known for, holding Blackwater to just 69 points while scoring 91 in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.

The tournament leader Hotshots built a series of runs in the second and fourth periods, but that started with an air-tight defense that left the Bossing bleeding for points.

Magnolia kept Blackwater without a basket for five minutes in the second period while unloading 13 points to turn a 28-31 deficit into a 41-31 lead with 5:39 left in the second quarter.

Bridging the third and fourth periods, the Hotshots were even more unforgiving.

They held the Bossing without a field goal for a nearly eight-minute stretch and came away with a blistering 13-1 spurt to take the fight out of their rivals who just lost their third game in a row.

Blackwater was able to dictate the tempo early, but was limited to below 20 points in the next three quarters as Magnolia went on a tear in notching its sixth win in seven games.

The Bossing slipped to 3-6 mark and went down to 12th place, facing yet another early elimination.

Meanwhile, Rain or Shine has finally found a replacement import for Steve Taylor Jr. in former George Mason University standout Ryan Pearson.

George Mason University is the same school that produced Gabe Norwood, the only original member of the Elasto Painters.

Listed at 6-foot-6, Pearson is likewise being eyed by the squad to join the team for the Governors’ Cup.

The Governors’ Cup will have a 6-foot-6 height limit for reinforcement.

For about two weeks now, the Elasto Painters were trying to bring a new reinforcement to take over the spot left by Taylor.

The team first tried to bring in Jalen Canty, who played for the SD Spartans in Australia, but the import turned down the opportunity.

Rain or Shine, then shifted its attention to former Blackwater import MJ Rhett who chose another team elsewhere.

The scores:

Magnolia (91) — Rakocevic 17, Sangalang 17, Ahanmisi 14, Jalalon 13, Barroca 9, Abueva 6, Wong 4, Zaldivar 4, Laput 4, Escoto 2, Dionisio 0, Corpuz 0, Mendoza 0.

Blackwater (69) — Ular 14, Jackson 10, McCarthy 9, Krutwig 8, Suerte 6, Ayonayon 5, Ebona 4, Sena 3, Banal 2, Publico 2, Melton 2, Taha 2, Go 2, Amer 0.

QUARTERS: 19-22, 44-37, 70-55, 91-69.

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