PBA Finals: Chito Victolero, Magnolia brace for loaded San Miguel

PBA Finals: Chito Victolero, Magnolia brace for loaded San Miguel

/ 10:02 PM February 01, 2024

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero PBA

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Coach Chito Victolero sees plenty of sleepless nights ahead as Magnolia tries to put out all the stops not just on import Bennie Boatwright, but the rest of the talented San Miguel Beer roster in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

The Hotshots are in for a difficult task ahead of the title showdown which starts Friday at Mall of Asia Arena, with the Beermen set to ride on their hot streak powered by Boatwright, June Mar Fajardo and a collection of talent.

This despite Magnolia holding the psychological edge, having beaten San Miguel, 94-90, last Dec. 10. It was the Beermen’s last defeat before going on a nine-game winning streak, the last seven with Boatwright as Ivan Aska’s replacement.


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

“They’ve shown a lot of improvement,” Victolero said in Filipino during Thursday’s PBA Finals press conference at Eastwood Richmonde Hotel. Magnolia defeated San Miguel when the latter was then fielding Aska as its import.

“Although Aska’s a good import, but the dynamics are now different with Bennie. He can do so many things and he plays at a high-caliber level,” added Victolero.

Victolero admitted the day prior when the Hotshots finished off the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the semifinals that they’ll have their hands full against the Beermen lineup, which his counterpart Jorge Gallent described as “Death 15.”

READ: June Mar Fajardo returns, forms a lethal tandem with Boatwright at San Miguel

Players like Fajardo, CJ Perez, Jericho Cruz, Terrence Romeo, Don Trollano and old guards Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross have flourished during the run to the Finals, adding more problems for the Hotshots.

“I think we will try to find the best possible way, the best possible defense not only for Bennie but the whole ‘Death 15,’” Victolero said. “Their second and third group are also playing well which is why we can’t just look at one import or one player, it’s everyone on that San Miguel team.”

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TAGS: PBA Commissioner's Cup, PBA Finals

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