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    Basketball gods smiling on Magnolia, says Chito Victolero

    Dec 3, 2022
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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    DID the basketball Gods favor Magnolia over Barangay Ginebra for the No. 2 seed in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs?

    With a huge smile on his face, Hotshots coach Chito Victolero thinks so.

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    “Siguro nagdasal kami ng mas matindi,” said Victolero after Magnolia locked the no. 2 seed and a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals after rallying past Rain or Shine, 106-90, Friday night at the Philsports Arena.

    The playoffs get going on Wednesday.

    “Siguro NLEX nagdasal din,” Victolero added.

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    A Magnolia loss would have pushed Barangay Ginebra to No. 2 and a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals even if the two end up with similar 9-3 records owing to the Kings’ 103-97 come-from-behind win against the Hotshots.

    A Magnolia loss also guaranteed an outright quarterfinal berth for Rain or Shine and knocks off NLEX in the run for a playoffs berth.

    But following the result of the final game in the eliminations, the Elasto Painters and Road Warriors now tangle in a do-or-die battle for the last berth in the playoffs.

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      Nonetheless, Victolero feels grateful for the win that arranged a quarterfinal pairing between the Hotshots and No. 7 Phoenix Fuel Masters.

      “Suwerte kami kahit paano na-bless kami ng Panginoon. And all of this, we bring back the glory and praises to God,” he said.

      The Magnolia coach said this is just the beginning of the Hotshots’ journey to the top.

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      “We achieved yung goal namin na makarating sa twice-to-beat. And the next goal is yung makarating sa next step which is the semis,” said Victolero.

      “We need to focus and prepare in our quarterfinals against Phoenix. Yun, thankful kahit paano na-bless kami.”

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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