MAGNOLIA looks to regain its winning form in another tough schedule when it collides with Barangay Ginebra on Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots are playing their second game of three consecutive game days in their clash against Ginebra at 6:45 p.m.
Despite the tough schedule, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero is not complaining as the Hotshots have been racking up victories until bowing to Blackwater, 104-99, on Friday, ending the win streak at five.
“Mahirap schedule namin since nagsimula kami ng conference,” Victolero said. “Always back-to-back-to-back games. We have another back-to-back-to-back games. We have to think one game at a time.”
Interesingly, the Hotshots started their previous winning streak on a Wednesday-Friday-Sunday schedule where they lost to NorthPort before beating NLEX and Columbian.
They are now at 5-3 and is in fourth place in the standings with still a chance to grab a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“We played very good defense and the chemistry was there,” Victolero said when asked what the team did well during the winning streak. “We also have that sense of urgency na kailangan namin maglaro na because we started 0-2. Alam naman ng players ko na once na nandoon kami sa timing, sa condition, we have a chance.”
Following the defeat against Blackwater, the Hotshots are looking to build another winning streak when they go up against Barangay Ginebra.
“We will just try again and do our best na kahit papaano maka-prepare. The hard part is ‘yung oras namin, time ng preparation namin. But obviously, it’s a Clasico. The motivation and ‘yung willingness ng mga players, nandiyan lang. Hopefully, maganda ‘yung game plan namin,” said Victolero.
Paul Lee also agrees no motivation is needed for Magnolia in its match against Ginebra, which is currently in fifth place with a 5-4 win-loss card and is coming off a 118-106 victory over Alaska last week.
“Siguro naman, we don’t need any motivation. Manila Clasico is enough para ma-motivate kami. ‘Yun ‘yung laging inaabangan every conference. Kailangan nandoon kami physically and mentally. I think alam naman ng lahat kung gaano ka-big game ‘yung sa Sunday,” Lee said.