Victolero stumped by freethrow disparity vs Ginebra: ‘We were more aggressive’
Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero was left clueless over the huge disparity at the free throw line in the Hotshots Game 3 loss to Barangay Ginebra in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals Wednesday night.
Victolero said his team was more aggressive than Ginebra and yet the Hotshots had 27 lesser attempts from the free throw line after the Gin Kings went 32-of-45.
“I think we need to go through the eye of the needle. That’s what we talked about before the series started that this is not an easy series. We had a chance earlier but I guess the game was really for them and also they deserved to win because they also worked for it,” Victolero told reporters after his team dropped a 107-103 decision in a game the Hotshots were poised to sweep the Gin Kings after taking an 18-point lead.
“It’s just that we really got beat in the free throws. I think it was 45 to 16. I don’t know what happened but we need to review the game and then try to see what they were doing that we weren’t able to do and I think we’re more aggressive than them. I guess we just need to double our effort so we could match them in free throws. We also need to defend better and be more aggressive.”
Magnolia went to the line just 18 times and made 11. Ginebra import Justin Brownlee alone had more free throw attempts than the entire Hotshots team after going 16-of-21 at the line en route to a career-high tying 46 points on top of 19 rebounds.
Victolero also came to the defense of his import Romeo Travis, who was criticized for scoring only 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting from the field.
“Romeo always goes hard every possession. What we did was a total team effort and not just the fault of one player. It’s actually my fault. Let’s just move on, it’s my fault and let’s look forward to Game 4,” he said.
For all Travis’ struggles in Game 3, he still nearly won it late after scoring back-to-back baskets that put the Hotshots in front, 103-101, with 53 seconds left.
“I think every player goes through that but our last two possessions, our last two shots in the end were courtesy of Romeo. He gets his rebounds, assists, defense and leadership. What we just normally notice is the scoring.”
Victolero also owned up for his ejection with 5:08 left in the game after giving the ball back to the referee with slight force.
“I think it’s just the emotions. I just got frustrated with the referees but it’s my fault, charge it to experience.”
Magnolia still leads the series, 2-1, but Victolero said his team will approach Game 4 on Friday as if it’s win or go home.
“The next game is also a do-or-die for us also. We just need to prepare hard mentally. We expected that it’s going to be a long series and now it’s 2-1 so it’s still the same mindset that it’s a do-or-die for us heading into Game 4.”
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