PBA: Antonio Hester torments former team in Magnolia win over Terrafirma
MANILA, Philippines-Antonio Hester handed his former team Terrafirma a fatal blow to its quarterfinal aspirations on Saturday after leading Magnolia to a stunning comeback win on Saturday in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Facing the team he reinforced in last season’s Governors’ Cup, Hester was in the Hotshots’ rally from 15 down with less than five minutes to go in regulation before completing a 121-115 victory at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Physicality was on a different level even against former teammates Hester had described many times as “like my brothers.”
“This is a business, man,” Hester said after finishing with 40 points and 17 rebounds. “When we step into those four lines, I don’t know you. You don’t have this jersey on, I don’t know you. You don’t have a Magnolia jersey on, you’re not my brother. Just for that time being.
“After the game, yeah. But during the game, it’s all about us,” he also said.
Hester was one of the few bright spots in the 2021-22 season-ending tourney that saw Terrafirma go 2-9.
The record, however, didn’t prevent Hester from forming a bond with fellow Dyip players, even watching one of their games early this conference when he took a break from his stint with the Zamboanga Valientes of the Asean Basketball League.
He was also not surprised with how Terrafirma displayed despite a long shot to score an upset. The Dyip led by double digits multiple times in the second half before committing an epic collapse.
“When I was with Terrafirma, it was like that in practice sometimes. We go at it in practice, trying to push each other around,” Hester recalled. “I’m used to it. That’s part of the game. It’s fun, though. I enjoyed it.”
Hester scored seven during the shock Magnolia comeback in the fourth, including the basket off an Adrian Wong steal that knotted the count at 110-all. The Hotshots built on that momentum in the extended period and kept their bid for a twice-to-beat advantage alive by improving to 6-4.
“It’s just weathering the storm, standing together and making sure that we got each other’s back the whole time. That’s pretty much it. Just us being together,” he said.