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Hotshots punch ticket to semis

Tyler Bey dominates with 41 points to power Magnolia to a 109-94 win over TNT Tropang Giga in the quarterfinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup. PBA PHOTO

Top seed Magnolia wasted no time in securing a seat in the semifinal round of the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday at the Philsports Arena.

The Hotshots endured a game TNT Tropang Giga squad, but still came out with a lot more energy in preserving a 109-94 triumph to become the first squad to punch a ticket to the Final Four of this import-laced tournament.

Magnolia will have to wait for the next few days before determining which between Meralco and Phoenix Super LPG will be its semifinals opponent.

The Bolts forged a knockout game, this after outlasting the Fuel Masters in a gripping triple-overtime encounter, 116-107.

The two teams will slug it out in a no-tomorrow encounter on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

But the Hotshots didn’t want to wait and immediately disposed of the tired and banged up Tropang Giga behind another solid, all-around performance from import Tyler Bey.

Bey pumped in 41 points, but also grabbed 13 rebound and stole the ball five times and got plenty of support from Mark Barroca, Ian Sangalang and Calvin Abueva.

Barroca contributed 17 markers while Sangalang and Abueva had 12 points each for the Hotshots.

“I just stayed tough mentally-wise, keeping my composure,” Bey said.

“I worked on my free throws the past couple of days and it showed today.”

Bey went perfect from the foul line, sinking all his 16 shots.

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero believes the loss against Meralco was a good wake up call and those things they’ve learned showed in their quarterfinals win against TNT, the reigning Governors’ Cup champion, which was riddled by injuries to its key players and had to deal with off-court controversies throughout the conference.

“Although we lost to Meralco, we learned a lot,” Victolero said.

“We’ve been always here, we go to the semis, we go to the finals, but we talked about it, hopefully, this time, we’ll go all the way.”

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