Magnolia rode a strong first half and left NorthPort in the dust with a 109-91 victory to stay perfect through five games in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, Oct. 16.

Nick Rakocevic (PBA Images)

Nick Rakocevic set the tone in the rout, dropping 13 of his 26 points in the first half where the Hotshots built a double-digit spread which they never relinquished until the final buzzer.

Rakocevic, who also added 14 rebounds, also got ample support from his local crew with seven players scoring at least six points in the contest led by the 13 points from Mark Barroca apart from his eight assists.

Jerrick Ahanmisi, Jio Jalalon and Ian Sangalang added 10 points apiece while Paul Lee added seven points.

Magnolia unleashed a 10-2 run to open the second quarter that all but broke the backs of NorthPort after building an 18 point lead, 40-22. It was all Hotshots from there, pouncing on the poor shooting Batang Pier who only shot 22 percent from beyond the arc.

Kevin Ferrer tried to light some fire to NorthPort but the lead proved to be too huge of a mountain to climb especially with main Robert Bolick still struggling with only 15 points on a 5-of-12 shooting from the field.

Ferrer paced NorthPort with 19 points while Arvin Tolentino, after leading his team to a victory last time out, likewise struggled against Magnolia’s defense and only scored 11 points. It also didn’t help that the Batang Pier were without veteran Arwind Santos who missed his first game in three years.

Source: Manila Bulletin (