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Friday, April 19, 2024

Hester explodes as Magnolia nails 1st win in Govs’ Cup

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ANTONIO HESTER impressed on his first day in a Magnolia uniform with 28 points and 12 rebounds to lift the Hotshots past Phoenix Super LPG, 108-95, on Friday for their first victory in the Philippine Basketball Association Governor’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Hester also collected six assists and four steals for the Hotshots, who opened the season with three straight losses. a 1-3 win-loss record.

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero thanked Hester, a former import of Terrafirma who replaced Eric McCree in a bid to stop the bleeding.

“He changed a lot of our movement, especially our offensive schemes,” Victolero said. “We don’t have Ian [Sangalang] so we don’t have a post threat, that’s why we got Hester to open up the floor, give our guards the chance to get their clear shots.”

Magnolia gave Hester the call despite his commitment with the Zamboanga Valientes in the Asean Basketball League.

Hester already got 11 points after the first period before the Hotshots cruised to their biggest lead, 63-36, early in the third quarter.

Veteran Mark Barroca added 19 points while Calvin Abueva tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds with five assists for Magnolia.

Gunners Paul Lee and Jerrick Ahanmisi contributed 14 points and 12 points, respectively, also for the Hotshots.        

Phoenix, which fell to 1-5 won-lost, got only 11 points and 10 rebounds from import Du’ Vaughn Maxwell.

Jason Perkins and Larry Muyang scored 20 and 15 points, respectively, for the Fuel Masters.  

Sangalang has yet to rid himself of cobwebs coming from a bout with typhoid fever.

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, meanwhile, used a strong fourth quarter run to beat NorthPort, 115-100, behind Justin Brownlee’s triple-double of 22 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists with three steals.

“We are just looking for opportunities to win games early so all these games we are getting now are very important,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone, who praised Jamie Malonzo for playing tough defense against new Batang Pier import Kevin Murphy.

Malonzo added 28 points and 10 rebounds while Nards Pinto got 18 points and Aljon Mariano had 16 points to give Ginebra a 3-0 satrt.

Robert Bolick had 30 points in his return and Murphy finished with 38 points and 11 rebounds for NorthPort, which remained winless in five games.

Image credits: Rudy Esperas

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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