Magnolia in sizzling start, scuttles Air21
By June Navarro Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Loaded with talent on paper, Magnolia translated that fearsome reputation into a more concrete form Sunday night. Danny Seigle and Dondon Hontiveros presided over the Beverage Masters’ high-octane offense that dazzled the Air21 Express, 121-112, at the start of the 2007-2008 Smart-PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. Firing a game-high 28 points, Seigle conspired with Hontiveros in a third-quarter onslaught that transformed a double-digit deficit to an imposing lead the Express couldn’t overturn. Hontiveros pumped in 12 of his 15 points in that span, including the game-tying free throws at 67 and the go-ahead three-point play after ramming against rookie Doug Kramer. The rampaging Express train, which built a 65-55 lead, finally got derailed as Hontiveros and Seigle took over. “They were shooting the lights out and hurting us in transition,” said Magnolia coach Siot Tanquingcen. “As one of the most athletic teams in the league, Air21 is really hard to contain with its flexible lineup.” Nino Canaleta sizzled with a career-high 32 points for the Express while Arwind Santos added 21 in the highest scoring season-opener since Presto beat Swift, 120-118, during the 1992 season. League rules have been altered to favor the offensive team, making the game faster and exciting. “We have to deal with it. Everybody plays under the same rules so I see no problem with it,” said Tanquingcen. What might be a big problem, however, was how to balance the minutes of Siot’s talent-laden roster on the floor. Aside from Seigle and Hontiveros, Enrico Villanueva, Larry Fonacier, Lordy Tugade and Danny Ildefonso also finished in double figures.
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