Jalalon lifts Magnolia past Alaska; Hotshots 2-0 in Govs’ Cup Finals

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Magnolia Hotshots’ Jio Jalalon (center) does not hesitate in scoring from the inside as he breaks through the phalanx of Alaska Aces defenders. PBA

MANILA – Clutch hits from Jio Jalalon allowed the Magnolia Hotshots to cruise to a 77-71 victory over the Alaska Aces in Game 2 of their 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals series on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Romeo Travis led the Hotshots with 24 points and nine rebounds while Ian Sangalang added 11 markers as they advanced 2-0 into the best-of-seven series.

Trailing 70-71 after two free throws from the Aces’ Mike Harris, Jalalon made a split from the line and an off-the-glass shot for the Hotshots to surge 73-71 with 2:40 left in the game.

After a series of defensive stops, Jalalon then drained two free throws for the Hotshots to take the 75-71 advantage before sealing the victory with a two-handed dunk from Rafael Reavis.

Jalalon finished with 7 points – five coming in the fourth quarter – to go along with seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

The Hotshots survived with subpar showing from stars Paul Lee and Andy Mark Barroca, who had combined 10 points.

The Aces were dominant at the onset of the game and were up by as much as 9 points in the third quarter before the Hotshots launched a run and took the lead 66-65 on a Lee basket.

It was a seesaw affair since then, with Harris and Chris Banchero scoring for the Aces and Lee and Travis converting for the Hotshots, all toward a 71-70 score in favor of Alaska.

Harris led the way with double-double 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Aces, while Vic Manuel added 10 markers but also committed numerous turnovers down the stretch./PN

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