ANTIPOLO – A personal pep talk from head coach Chito Victolero worked wonders for Aldrech Ramos in Magnolia’s 87-78 win over NLEX in Game 5 of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal playoff.
Scoreless in the first half, the former Far Eastern University standout scattered all of his 15 points in the final 24 minutes as the Hotshots broke open what until then was a tight encounter.
Ramos, who also hauled down nine rebounds in just 22 minutes off the bench, said pre-game words of wisdom from his coach was exactly what he needed to snap out of a mini-slump.
“Nagsabi lang siya sa akin na 'yung confidence ko, wag ako mag-hesitate. Siyempre as a player, sobrang morale-boost yun,” said Ramos. “Coming from your coach, nagbibigay siya ng ganung confidence, sobrang taas ng kumpiyansa 'yun.”
Despite Magnolia holding a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, Ramos remains wary of a fightback from the Road Warriors and he knows from experience that this series is far from over.
Last season in this same conference, the Hotshots took a 3-2 lead over Barangay Ginebra only to be denied of a finals appearance after losing the final two games in the series.
“Same situation as last year. Wala pa kaming napapatunayan. Hindi pa namin nao-overcome yung nangyari sa amin last year. Wag kami makakampante para makuha namin yung Game Six,” Ramos said.
“Ilang beses na kami nakatungtong sa semis pero hindi naman ito yung ticket para makapasok sa finals, di ba? Kailangan pa rin namin magtrabaho at hopefully next game, magawa ulit namin,” he added.