PBA Finals: No quit in Magnolia after blowout, 0-2 hole

PBA Finals: No quit in Magnolia after blowout, 0-2 hole

/ 11:28 PM February 04, 2024

Magnolia Hotshots Chito Victolero PBA Finals

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero and his staff during Game 2 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia is keeping a positive mentality despite facing a commanding deficit against San Miguel Beer in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

The Hotshots got blown out 109-85 by the Beermen in Game 2 but coach Chito Victolero believes the series is far from over.

“We’re down but we’re not out. This has happened a lot of times already anyway but we’ll try to find a way to stop this offensive juggernaut,” said Victolero.

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“We’re not giving up. That’s my message to my players. This is not the time to quit because we prepared and dreamt of this eight months ago. The only thing we need to do is rise and prepare for Wednesday.”

Despite being the best team at the end of the elimination round, the Hotshots have been overpowered by the Beermen led by their import Bennie Boatwright.

But it’s not just Boatwright who’s doing the damage for the Beermen, who boast a deep roster from top to bottom.

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero PBA Finals Game 2

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

San Miguel’s running game has been Magnolia’s biggest concern, as per Victolero.

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“Our main problem is their transition offense so we need to fix our transition defense. There were a lot of transition threes, especially in the first quarter. I think that’s the first thing we’ll fix.”

The Beermen fired on all cylinders in Game 2 with 16 3-pointers, nine more than the Hotshots.

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And while they had it going from the outside, their frontcourt of Boatwright and June Mar Fajardo also did a lot of damage in the paint with a pair of double-double performances.

Boatwright scored 34 with 10 rebounds while Fajardo recorded 19 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks.

Tyler Bey seemed to be the Hotshots’ lone bright spot in Game 2 with 22 points and 16 rebounds but even he had a tough time from the field going 8-of-22.

Fortunately for Victolero and Magnolia, they have a couple of days to figure things out before Wednesday’s Game 3 at Araneta Coliseum.

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“At least, we have two days now. We’ll try to talk tomorrow (Monday) regarding our defensive schemes and offense, also we need to do a better job finding better shots and open shots.”

TAGS: Chito Victolero, Magnolia Hotshots, PBA Commissioner's Cup

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