PBA Finals: Magnolia's 'Family' vs San Miguel's 'Death 15’

PBA Finals: Magnolia’s ‘Family’ vs San Miguel’s ‘Death 15’

/ 11:21 PM February 01, 2024

PBA Finals San Miguel Beermen Magnolia Hotshots Jorge Gallent Chito Victolero

FILE––San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent and Magnolia coach Chito Victolero will try to steer their respective squads to the PBA championship. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net2

MANILA, Philippines—There’s an interesting storyline that’s about to unfold in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals between Magnolia and San Miguel.

It’s not about the player matchups or the coaches’ head-to-head showdown. It’s about both squad’s mentalities heading into the looming war of attrition.

It’s about Magnolia’s “family” against San Miguel “Death 15.”

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SCHEDULE: San Miguel vs Magnolia PBA Finals

When coach Chito Victolero was asked about what he wants his team to be once the best-of-seven series against the Beermen unfurls, the veteran tactician gave it some thought, smiled, and said “family.”

“We’re a family of defense. We’re one in defense, we stay with that chemistry, we stay with that family and we believe we have a chance if we stay together,” Victolero told Inquirer Sports after their 89-79 win against Phoenix.

The Hotshots needed an extra game to fend off the pesky Fuel Masters while San Miguel had a longer rest after sweeping Barangay Ginebra in their semifinal series.

READ: PBA Finals: Magnolia will deal with San Miguel lethal big man duo

“Actually bro, I haven’t even thought of anything yet,” said Victolero in jest when asked about the game plan against the Beermen shortly after they clinched the Finals berth.

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“We just tried to focus on this game first. We don’t want to go to the next phase without winning this one but I think we’ll lose sleep again. We’ll just try to think of what we need to do against this powerhouse team. Coach Jorge said it himself, they have a ‘Death 15.’ We’re already having a hard time with ‘Death five,’ what more with ‘Death 15?’ But we’ll find ways. All of this has a solution, after all.”

It was in Game 2 of the San Miguel-Ginebra series when Gallent called his 15-deep Beermen roster the “Death 15” with anyone able to explode at any give time.

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“There’s no ‘Death Five’ here. It’s ‘Death 15.’ Anybody’s good here. They wouldn’t be here if they’re anything but good,” said Gallent then.

With both tacticians’ systems in place, it sets up an interesting clash in the PBA Finals.

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Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.

TAGS: Chito Victolero, Jorge Gallent, Magnolia Hosthots, PBA Commissioner's Cup, San Miguel Beermen

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