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    Magnolia unfazed by odds against twice-to-beat Alaska in quarters

    Jul 10, 2018

    MAGNOLIA missed out on moving up the seedings in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals but head coach Chito Victolero still likes the team’s position as the Hotshots Pambansang Manok face Alaska on Tuesday.

    The seventh-seeded Hotshots aim to force a rubber match with twice-to-beat No. 2 Alaskaat 7 p.m.

    Magnolia had a chance to get the sixth spot and set up a match with thethird-ranked team in a best-of-three series, but the 101-97 win over San Miguel in their final elimination-round game was short of the 14-point winning margin needed to move up the seedings.

    Still, Victolero remains optimistic especially with the Hotshots racking up two straight wins at the end of the eliminations thanks in large part to the arrival of Wayne Chism.

    “It’s not easy going into the playoffs. Marami kaming pinagdaanan. Maraming challenges, import changes, injuries. Now, maganda ‘yung last two games namin. Nakuha namin ‘yung character namin doon. Very happy pa rin doon sa panalo. It carries us the momentum going into the playoffs,” Victolero said.

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    “Lagi naman pag panalo, laging naman kaming masaya. Hindi mo puwedeng sabihin na nanalo kami pero hindi pa kami masaya. We tried to achieve na maka-14 points kami. Kung hindi ma-achieve, okay lang ‘yun,” said Victolero.

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    Against San Miguel, Chism had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

    Eyes will also be on Alaska’s Vic Manuel and new import Diamon Simpson, who debuted for the Aces on Friday, delivering 18 points and 19 rebounds against Phoenix.

    “He is very consistent,” Victolero said of Manuel. “We need team defense pagdating kay Vic Manuel. They also have a good import, a veteran import, so magandang laban against Wayne. Parehas beterano,” said Victolero.

    In the first game, top-seed Rain or Shine faces eighth-seed GlobalPort at 4:30 p.m. The Elastopainters hold a twice-to-beat advantage in their series.

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