PBA Finals: Magnolia still the 'underdog' despite Game 4 win

PBA Finals: Magnolia still the ‘underdog’ despite Game 4 win, says coach

/ 12:56 PM February 10, 2024

Magnolia Hotshots PBA Finals

Magnolia Hotshots in Game 4 of the PBA Finals. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Tying a series against a stacked San Miguel team might be something to smile about for some other coaches but coach Chito Victolero is not like other coaches.

After their statement 96-85 win in Game 4 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals over San Miguel to tie the series at 2-2, Victolero said there was “nothing to celebrate about,” and said they are still the “underdogs” of the series despite two straight wins.


“There’s no advantage right now. We just tied the series, nothing to celebrate, we just need to prepare hard for the next game. I know they’re adjusting to our game but I like the effort… It’s not an advantage, we’re still the underdogs of this series,” said the top coach at Araneta Coliseum on Friday.


READ: PBA Finals schedule: San Miguel vs Magnolia

“That’s one of our factors, the resiliency of our team.”

The Hotshots answered back from an embarrassing Game 2 where they lost big, 109-85, by winning two games flexing their own style of play.

Magnolia didn’t just defeat the Beermen twice in a row, but it limited the “Death 15” to under 90 points in Games 3 and 4.

But Game 4 was a much better outing for the top-seeded squad. At least, that’s how Victolero sees it after seeing how well his wards moved the ball.

READ: PBA Finals: San Miguel knows closing out Magnolia won’t ‘come easily’

“We moved the ball well. We had proper spacing on the floor and everybody sacrificed. We were so unselfish tonight. We kept on finding the better shots and we talked about finding the better shots.”

The Hotshots, as a squad, registered 20 assists while also drawing 31 points from the bench.


Their exemplary passing resulted in a blistering 41 percent field goal shooting clip as a team, a better showing than San Miguel’s 37 percent.

Victolero said the only thing left to do for his wards is to “dig deep” in hopes of notching the advantageous 3-2 lead in Game 5 of the PBA Finals on Sunday.

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And if it helps, the veteran tactician now–more than ever in the series–likes the Hotshots’ chances.

“Right now, we just need to dig deep and grind in Game 5 so we can have another two days rest but again, this is not over but we like our chances. We like our chances now.”

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

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