The Magnolia Hotshots drew first blood in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
Hotshots seized a 99-94 victory over the San Miguel Beermen during Game-1 of the Best of Seven Final Series on Wednesday, May 1, at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao City.
Paul Lee contributed 18 points while Ian Sangalang and Andy Barroca each added 17 points for Magnolia, who led by 10 points at most during the game.
Still down by seven points, 80-73, in the final period, the Beermen rallied late in the quarter to cut Magnolia’s lead to one, 95-94, with a minute and 29 seconds left in the game.
However, the Beermen missed their final shots which allowed Sangalang, who also contributed 12 rebounds, and Lee to put the Hotshots back up by five points.
Fajardo paced the Beermen with 35 points and 21 rebounds. Alex Cabagnot also had 18 while Arwind Santos finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds for the defending champions.
Game-2 will be on Friday, May 3, at the Araneta Coliseum.