PAUL Lee regained his shooting touch, scoring 21 points as Magnolia finally notched a win in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup finals, repulsing TNT, 106-98, on Sunday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Ian Sangalang added 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists while Mark Barroca made some clutch baskets late in a highly physical Game Three battle royale as the Hotshots avoided falling behind 0-3 in the best-of-seven finals.
The Hotshots led by as many as 18 points but barely survived a rally led by TNT guard Mikey Williams, who set a rookie record for most threes in a game with 10 to highlight his 39 points – also a new high in the finals for a first-year player, according to PBA statistics chief Fidel Mangonon.
Williams’ 39 were also the most points scored by a rookie in a game in over two decades, or since Eric Menk scored 42 points for Tanduay in an All-Filipino Cup game against Formula Shell back in 1999.
Williams kept TNT within striking distance with a three-pointer that cut the deficit to 98-95 with 1:12 remaining, but Barroca responded with a gutsy lay-up with 50.4 left to break the Tropang GIGA’s momentum.
Things got very physical as well, with Troy Rosario suffering a dislocated left pinkie after landing hard on the floor due to a flagrant foul called on Magnolia forward Jackson Corpuz at the 3:02 mark of the third.
Corpuz was ejected from the game, having already received a technical foul early in the contest.
Rosario never returned in the game as he was sent to a hospital to have his finger checked.
Lee set the tone early with 11 points in the first half including the first basket of the game in what became his best performance in the finals series despite nursing an injured shoulder.
Magnolia got its confidence early after a 7-0 start, five coming from Jio Jalalon, enough to avoid another lopsided defeat at the hands of TNT.Internet Explorer Channel Network