MANILA, Philippines—The PBA’s Manila Clasico rivalry has a new hero in Tyler Bey.
In his first taste of one of Philippine basketball’s biggest rivalries, Bey balled out to be included in the hall of Magnolia’s Clasico imports like Romeo Travis, Denzel Bowles and Marqus Blakely.
After being down by as much as 26, the Hotshots were towed by Bey in the clutch for a 93-91 win over Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
“It was fun. The crowd was fun. We had to handle adversity, we were down 25 but all I could really say is, it was fun. We came back, did our job and we got tested,” said the 6-foot-7 Bey.
“We worked hard, we have been for a couple months now. I worked on those shots in practice, it was just taking accountability in the second half. It was fun, that’s all I could say.”
Bey starred in the statement win with a double-double of 31 points, 10 rebounds, five steals and two blocks.
Fellow Hotshot Jio Jalalon, who played a supporting role in the comeback with 15 points, also lauded Bey.
“Even in practice, he’s competitive. Earlier in the first half, that wasn’t him. He relaxed. His game appeared in that third quarter. If he wants to play, he’s hard to defend. He has the length, lots of skills,” said the pesky guard who also had five boards and three assists.
Bey also drew praise from Ginebra guard Scottie Thompson.
Scottie Thompson, who flirted with a triple-double of 12 points, nine dimes and eight boards, commended Bey after the Hotshots remained undefeated after four outings.
“He’s very persevered. We couldn’t match his perseverance in the second half and I think he’s really a winner. He’s also why they really got back in the game,” said Thompson.