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Magnolia turned on the heat in the second half and clobbered Meralco, 108-96, to move within striking distance of securing the No. 2 berth in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup Sunday at the Philsports Arena.

Known as a defense-oriented team, the Hotshots worked double time on offense, unloading 47 points in the third quarter — the biggest production poured in by any team since Phoenix scored 49 in the 2016 Governors’ Cup.

Magnolia’s outburst proved to be timely as it went on to secure its ninth win in 11 games.

The Hotshots can formalize their claim to the second spot — and the twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals — with a victory over Rain or Shine in the final day of the elimination round on Friday.

Paul Lee played his best game of the tournament just when his team needed it the most as he unloaded 11 of his 27 points during their sizzling third-quarter rally laced with five three-pointers.

But Lee got company when Magnolia poured its full offensive might.

Nicholas Rakocevic just couldn’t get his game going in the first half but unloaded nine of his 16 points in the third period to join Lee in the scoring parade.

Mark Barroca had seven of his 11 points and Calvin Abueva, Jio Jalalon and Rome dela Rosa each had six markers.

Overall, Magnolia shot an amazing 61.5 percent (16-of-26) in the third period while also hitting 6-of-7 from beyond the arc during that stretch, three of those triples coming from Lee.

The Hotshots also scored 30 points from the Bolts’ total 19 turnovers while also notching 11 more fastbreak points.

But Magnolia’s defense didn’t slow down as it held import K.J. McDaniels to just five points in the fourth period.

The Scores:
MAGNOLIA (108) — Lee 27, Abueva 17, Rakocevic 16, Jalalon 12, Sangalang 11, Barroca 11, Dela Rosa 6, Ahanmisi 3, Reavis 2, Corpuz 2, Laput 1, Wong 0, Dionisio 0.
MERALCO (96) — McDaniels 32, Black 16, Quinto 14, Banchero 11, Johnson 9, Almazan 8, Caram 2, Hodge 2, Pascual 2, Maliksi 0, Hugnatan 0, Pasaol 0, Jose 0.
QUARTERS: 27-21, 46-51, 93-74, 108-96.

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