Paul Lee scored 27 points to lift Magnolia past hard-fighting Phoenix 99-96 in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup at Cuneta Astrodome on Saturday.
James Farr contributed 26 points and 18 rebounds for the Hotshots, who gained solo third with a 3-2 record.
The Fuel Masters, led by Richard Howell's 36 points, fell to 2-3.
Magnolia stalwart Marc Pingris hit the court for the first time after a long layoff because of injury.
“Phoenix is a strong team and it's a defensive type of game. Thanks to my players they stepped up in defense and they executed in the second half in terms of our defense and our rebounding,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.
The Hotshots were up by 89-79 in the final 3 minutes, but the Fuel Masters kept on fighting and came as close to within 3 points.
Magnolia 99 - Lee 27, Farr 26, Barroca 11, Jalalon 10, Dela Rosa 8, Sangalang 8, Brondial 7, Melton 2, Pascual 0, Pingris 0, Herndon 0.
Phoenix 96 - Howell 36, Wright 19, Jazul 15, Chua 8, Marcelo 7, Mallari 6, Wilson 3, Dennison 2, Perkins 0, Kramer 0, Intal 0.
Quarterscores: 23-24, 47-45, 71-67, 99-96.
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