MANILA, Philippines—Basketball will always be a brotherhood for Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.
TNT and Victolero’s Hotshots were locked in a testy Game 3 that saw the usual physicality and visible emotions characteristic of the championship round.
But there was one instance where the one-time champion had to look out for his opponents.
Tropang Giga forward Troy Rosario suffered a nasty spill late that reportedly dislocated his pinky finger in the third quarter when he got into contact with Hotshots forward Jackson Corpuz on a layup attempt.
It was visually clear that Rosario wouldn’t be able to come back to the game after such a dangerous incident and Victolero said that while they’ll always be physical, keeping everyone’s well-being is always a top priority no matter the team.
“I asked Jackson if he was okay, and of course I send my prayers to Troy, we don’t want that to happen, we don’t want any injuries to other players,” said Victolero following Magnolia’s 106-98 Game 3 win Sunday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Corpuz was eventually charged with a disqualifying foul and was ejected from the game at the 3:29 mark of the third.
Rosario, meanwhile, had his teammates carry him off the playing floor.
“At the end of the day, we all have the same jobs. We play physical, on the court we’re opponents with each other, we’re both fighting for our lives and the championship, but after the game our prayers will always include each other.”
“We’ll of course include Troy in our prayers.”