PBA: For Magnolia, Russell Escoto has shown himself to be dependable

Feb 7, 2024

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After the team re-signed Magnolia to a new deal, Russell Escoto was quick to reimburse her.

In the Hotshots’ opening game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals against the San Miguel Beermen, the seven-year veteran contributed valuable minutes off the bench.

When the chips were down on the Hotshots in the last five minutes, coach Chito Victolero sent in Escoto, Joseph Eriobu, and Jed Mendoza as part of his “magic bunot.”

Escoto, however, was up to the challenge and helped the squad turn it into a game before ultimately faltering, 103-95.

While attempting to restrict San Miguel import Bennie Boatwright, he finished with three points, three rebounds, an assist, and a steal.

Only a few days had passed since he had reestablished his connection with the Hotshots.

The former big man from Far Eastern University, Marvin Espiritu, who represents Escoto through the Espiritu Manotoc Basketball Management (EMBM), announced that the player had signed a new one-year contract, but he would not provide any information about the terms of the agreement.

Escoto is in his third season with Magnolia, having been acquired from Terrafirma in 2021 in return for Magnolia’s 2023 second round choice. Escoto won the UAAP men’s title with the Tamaraws in 2015.

Louie Sangalang, the former Letran star, was chosen by the Dyip using the pick.

The KIA team originally selected the 31-year-old Escoto in the 2016 Gilas special draft.

With Magnolia, he hopes to win his first PBA title.

On the other hand, Marcio Lassiter, who surpassed one of his idols in the PBA’s all-time three-pointers made list on Sunday night, could not feel more honored.

The legendary Ronnie Magsanoc has been replaced at fifth in the elite company by the San Miguel sniper, who helped the Beermen overcome Magnolia 109-85 to take a 2-0 lead in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

With 1,173 career triples under his belt, Lassiter is well represented in baseball. The “Point Laureate” earned 1,171 throughout the course of his remarkable 13-year career.

Just in the first quarter of Game 2, the 36-year-old had already eclipsed Magsanoc, connecting twice from beyond the arc and teaming up with Bennie Boatwright for a 17-5 run en route to a 26-14 lead that set up the rout.

He finished the game with three more threes, 11 points at a 50% shooting percentage, three rebounds, an assist, and a steal.

But before Sunday’s game, Lassiter never really gave the milestone any thought. Nevertheless, he is fortunate to have accomplished the goal.

He asserted that his accomplishments are solely the outcome of his diligent efforts. He remarked, “I know it’s not easy, but I know if I stick with my strength, which is shooting, and I continue with my craft, I’ll eventually get there.”

The nine-time league champion also acknowledged the role that his coaches and colleagues had in helping him reach his current position.

With 1,184 triples, Lassiter is currently the third active player in the Top 5 on the famous list. James Yap, a free agent currently, is fourth on the list, while LA Tenorio, the star of Barangay Ginebra, is ranked third with 1,204.

The current assistant coach of the Sacramento Kings, Jimmy Alapag, has 1,250 points, leading the all-time leader Allan Caidic, who is in second place with 1,242.

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