MANILA, Philippines—Unbeaten Magnolia continued its hot start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday by thumping NorthPort with a 109-91 victory at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Saved for that 5-0 deficit shortly after tipoff, the Hotshots were on cruise control powered by another stellar game from import Nick Rakocevic coupled with solid contributions from the locals to secure their fifth win in as many matches.
Rakocevic finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds and four assists in the one-sided affair that eventually served as a warm-up for Magnolia’s Manila Clasico showdown with Barangay Ginebra on October 23.
Mark Barroca produced 13 points and eight assists while Ian Sangalang came back after being out with typhoid fever and posted 10 points off the bench.
The Hotshots won by double digits for the second straight game after an average margin of 4.7 points in the first three outings of the midseason conference.
NorthPort dropped to an even 3-3 slate halfway into the eliminations after trailing by a high of 21 early in the payoff period.
The Batang Pier played minus Arwind Santos for unknown reasons. It marked only the 12th time in the former PBA Most Valuable Player’s career that he missed a game.
Kevin Ferrer topscored for the losing squad with 19 while Robert Bolick had 15 on 5-of-12 shooting.
MAGNOLIA 109 — Rakocevic 26, Barroca 13, Ahanmisi 10, Jalalon 10, Sangalang 10, Corpuz 9, Lee 7, Abueva 6, Dela Rosa 6, Escoto 5, Dionisio 3, Mendoza 2, Wong 2, Reavis 0, Laput 0.
NORTHPORT 91 — Ferrer 19, Bolick 15, Ibeh 11, Tolentino 11, Ayaay 10, Salado 6, Chan 5, Balanza 5, Sumang 3, Calma 2, Taha 1, Caperal 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarters: 30-20, 56-39, 86-65, 109-91.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.