DESPITE a third straight loss that endangered Magnolia’s playoffs bid in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, coach Chito Victolero wants his Hotshots to stay positive.
“Kasi wala namang matutulong yung negativity. Walang matutulong kung mag-dwell kami sa last three games namin,” he said.
Those three games all resulted in losses, including an 86-82 setback at the hands of Rain or Shine on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
As a result, what was once a rosy situation for the Hotshots has become grim as the franchise fell to an even 5-5 record in a tie with its tormentor for fifth to sixth spots.
Magnolia's fate, at least, is still in its own hands. The Hotshots play league-leader TnT Katropa on the final day of the eliminations a week from now and a victory would hand them an outright spot in the playoffs.
“Ang maganda lang doon nasa mga kamay pa namin. Hindi kami umaasa dito sa team na ito, or doon sa Friday’s game or Sunday game,” said the champion coach.
Despite the skid, Victolero still has a full trust in this Hotshots unit, which two conferences ago went all the way to win the Governors Cup championship.
“Kilala ko naman yung team ko. Kilala ko on how they bounce back, kung gaano kabeterano sila, kung gaano katibay ang dibdib nila,” he said.
And if it meant going past Terrence Jones and the Katropa to gain an automatic slot in the next round, so be it, according to Victolero.
“We need to have the sense of urgency doon sa next game namin which is the only chance para makasigurado kami sa quarterfinals,” he said. “Wala kaming choice, yun ang ibinigay sa amin. Yan yung only chance namin and we will try our very best para maka-sigurado kami sa quarterfinals.”