AS Star practice ended on Tuesday afternoon, Chito Victolero took his turn to sweat it out as he started to jog around Ronac Center’s wooden court.
The laps went on for half an hour, then he spent another 20 minutes walking to cool down.
“Parang exercise, ma-refresh yung mind ulit,” the Hotshots coach said in a chat with SPIN.ph while continuing his routine.
“Pampawala ng stress,” the 41-year-old former pro was quick to add.
Asked if he was in a stressful environment considering the Hotshots have yet to register in the win column of the PBA Philippine Cup, Victolero shook his head.
“Hindi naman,” he insisted on the eve of their game against NLEX. “I know dadating ‘tong (situation) na ‘to eh. Ang gusto ko lang sana mapabilis yung process kasi I know naman na walang shortcut dun sa success eh.”
“Dadaan at dadaan kami sa process na we need to improve our chemistry – player to player and player to coach, sa sistema namin,” he added. “Hindi yun madali kasi we have a lot of new guys.”
After a busy offseason that saw the acquisition of Paul Lee, Aldrech Ramos, and rookie Jio Jalalon, among others, the Hotshots paraded a retooled roster that can contend right away.
They, however, have found their progress slower than expected, dropping their first two assignments against two early leaders in defending champion San Miguel Beer and unbeaten GlobalPort.
“But, sabi ko sa kanila, it’s not an excuse lagi na kaya kami matatalo because of that (lack of chemistry),” Victolero said. “Mayroon kaming pwedeng gawin eh, para pwede kaming manalo.”
“May mga konti lang kaming dapat ayusin, hindi naman major,” he added. “In our first two games, maganda ang dinedepensa namin. Natatalo lang kami dahil sa amin. Hindi kami tinatalo ng opponent namin dahil sa kanila, kundi sa mistakes namin.”
The Hotshots seek to expedite their jelling process as they take on the Road Warriors at 7 p.m.
“Kailangan pa magka-amuyan,” Victolero said. “Ang ano ko lang, sana mapabilis namin, kasi mabilis yung liga eh, so kailangan namin mag-step up na, kasi pag nalubog kami, mahirap umahon.”
“Hindi pa naman nagpa-panic, pero may sense of urgency na kami ngayon,” he added.