The Magnolia Hotshots are a win away in their quarterfinals matchup against the NLEX Road Warriors from sending themselves to the semifinals of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup. Will the Hotshots sweep NLEX? Or, will the Road Warriors live to play another game?
Catch this game live on Friday, July 29 at 6 pm, Manila time.
NLEX Road Warriors (0-1)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kevin Alas (questionable)
- SG: Don Trollano
- SF: Calvin Oftana
- PF: Marion Magat
- C: Justin Chua
The Road Warriors will be fighting for their conference’s life this Friday, as they lost Game 1 of this series against Magnolia on July 24 to the tune of a 98-89 score. They are now winless in two meetings with Magnolia in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup and are hoping that the third time’s the charm. The Road Warriors are also hopeful that Kevin Alas and Kris Rosales will be able to get back to active duty after the pair missed Game 1 of this quarterfinals series due to health and safety protocols.
Without Alas and Rosales, NLEX saw Anthony Semerad step up big time, as he led the team with 19 points on 8/13 shooting, while Calvin Oftana and Don Trollano had 15 points apiece. It’s also a good sign for NLEX that it hit 10 3-pointers to just five by Magnolia in Game 1 and that the Road Warriors also shot over 50% inside the arc. Having Alas and Rosales back should help loosen up further Magnolia’s tight defense, while also adding more pieces for Yeng Guiao to solve NLEX’s problematic defense.
Magnolia Hotshots (1-0)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Paul Lee
- SG: Jio Jalalon
- SF: Calvin Abueva
- PF: Ian Sangalang
- C: Rafi Reavis
Speaking of NLEX’s faulty defense, the Hotshots made sure to capitalize on that, as they had a field day on the offensive side of the court in Game 1. Magnolia shot 45% from the floor, and while it missed 16 of 21 attempts from deep, the team sank 53% of its attempts in the 2-point region. Moreover, the Hotshots partied all night inside the arc opposite NLEX’s barely existent rim protection, scoring 50 points in the paint to just 28 by the Road Warriors.
Mark Barroca led the way for the Hotshots with his 24 points, while Calvin Abueva and Paul Lee had 13 points each. Magnolia also just had too much muscle on the glass, as it outrebounded the Road Warriors by a wide margin as well, 53-36. Magnolia can continue to expect the same type of dominance in rebounding and inside scoring given the lack of outstanding rebounders on the NLEX side. (The Road Warriors finished the elimination phase just eighth in the league with a 45.0 TRB%).
Spread: NLEX (+5) covers.
Over/Under: The total hit the Over (182.0).