Magnolia turned on the defensive switch in the second half to outplay NLEX, 99-72, and extend its winning streak to five in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena late Friday night.
The Hotshots held the Road Warriors to 26 points in the entire second half.
NLEX felt the defense of Magnolia, which held the Road Warriors to only 38% (28-of-72) from the field.
Rebounding has been a key factor as well for the Hotshots as they dominated their rivals, 52-42.
Because of their extraordinary effort in getting the boards, the Hotshots were able to get nine second-chance points. The Road Warriors had none.
Magnolia also pounced its might on the interior, producing 50 points inside the paint, 18 more than its counterpart.
Five players came away with double-digit productions for the Hotshots, including James Laput’s career-high output of 16 points.
NLEX paraded its new import Stokley Chaffee, who was solid right from the get-go. but was slowed down by the defense of the Hotshots in the second half.
The 26-year-old import, who took over the spot of the controversial Thomas Robinson, immediately produced a double-double performance as early as half time where he had 13 points and 14 rebounds, then added 10 markers and six more boards the rest of the way.
“After watching him the first half, we’ve figured out a way on how to limit his production,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. “We’ve watched some of his videos and we studied how he played in the first half. We gave him different looks on defense.”