Hotshots sink Kings deeper
Chito Victolero and the Magnolia Hotshots remember things perfectly well, bitter memories against Barangay Ginebra driving their upset machine in their PBA Governors’ Cup’s Final Four clash.
With a defensive game that refuses to budge an inch and an efficient offense that has befuddled the Gin Kings, the Hotshots took a 2-0 lead over the defending champions with a 101-97 victory on Monday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“My players still remember that, we were 2-0 in the Philippine Cup (semifinals last year),” Victolero said. “That is our inspiration—to get that third win. We experienced that before. And we don’t want that happening again.”
Ginebra rallied in that series to win it in seven games, but this being a shorter series, the Hotshots have three chances to make a title playoff appearance for the second time this year against either Meralco or Alaska.
The Bolts lead the series, 1-0.
“Being 2-0 up in a best-of-five series is nothing until you win the third game,” Victolero said after getting 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists from import Romeo Travis and 17 points from Ian Sangalang.
“We need three wins to make the Finals and we will prepare harder for Game 3.”
The potential series-clinching match is slated Wednesday also at the Big Dome.
Justin Brownlee scored 31 points but the Hotshots defense limited Ginebra twin towers Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar to a combined 29 points.
In the other series, Alaska will try to bounce back from a 92-97 Game 1 loss to prevent Meralco from reaching the Finals for the third straight season.
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