ANTIPOLO CITY – For someone who’s been with the Purefoods franchise from the very start, Alvin Patrimonio knew this modern-day Magnolia squad was ripe for the picking.
It was only a matter of time.
And that came Wednesday night when the Hotshots ended their four-year title drought by bagging the PBA Governors Cup championship with a 102-86 win over Alaska in the Game Six of the finals at the Ynares Center.
“Yung mga players naman ripe na to win a championship. And ito na yung magandang timing,” said the Magnolia team manager after the team wrapped up the best-of-seven title series, 4-2.
“Tadhana, bigay ng Panginoon.”
Unlike his heyday when Purefoods anchored its plays on the inside behind him and frontcourt partner Jerry Codinera, the legendary Patrimonio, who won all four MVP awards as the franchise player of the team, finds this Magnolia team of today a unique bunch.
“Iba ang strength ng team na ito. Siyempre yung relationships with each other and chemistry no. 1 yun. Pero yung composition ang bilis, ang galing dumepensa. Kahit we lacked height, andun yung determination ng team.”
Patrimonio could proudly say he was there in all 14 championships of Purefoods – six titles as a player and eight as team manager.
So is he better off as an executive than being the franchise player of Purefoods before?
“Pag player pagod and bugbog,” he quipped. “Pag manager, nag-cheer ka lang sa mga players, and motivate lang. Of course yung konting pag-push sa kanila, malaking bagay yun.”
Patrimonio also considered this championship a memorable one since Magnolia was the first team to win a title at the Antipolo venue.