CHITO Victolero believes that Magnolia did everything right except for that one thing which eventually cost them the game.
While proud of his players' effort, the Hotshots coach rued his squad's 19 missed free throws especially since the Hotshots lost by just three to Rain or Shine in overtime, 99-96.
As a team, the Hotshots made just 12 of 31 attempts from the line, highlighted by the woeful shooting of new import Curtis Kelly who made just 3 of 12 from the stripe.
"Yun lang ang sinabi ko sa kanila. Sabi ko lang last game (against Meralco), nanalo kami sa free throws, and today's game natalo kami because of the free throws. So that's the story," said Victolero.
But still, Victolero is proud of his squad's efforts as they took the fight to the league's best team despite playing sans top big man Ian Sangalang who's out with a wrist injury.
"It's the breaks of the game eh. Proud pa rin ako sa mga players ko eh. Kahit na we're undermanned, foul trouble, we didn't give up," Victolero said.
"Yung breaks lang noong huli, yung possessions, yung labas ng bola, natatapik namin, and I think yun lang ang problema. I think everything (else) okay naman. We just try to bounce back on the next game," he added.
Victolero believes that they're bound to get better, especially when Kelly finally incorporates himself to the system of the Hotshots.
Free-throw woes aside, Victolero gave his new import a passing remark - confident that Kelly will eventually get going.
"So far, so good naman. I think four days lang kasi siya. And nakita nyo naman medyo talagang hirap na maka-cope up sa pace ng game," Victolero said.
"Everything, he can contribute," he added. "On rebounds, on defense, sa points, but he needs to assert more siguro sa post-up niya. He needs to be more aggressive on his post-up plays. And at the same time siguro sa free throws, he needs to do siguro ah time sa free throws."