CHITO Victolero didn’t hide the fact that Magnolia players were concerned about the situation in the PBA bubble after a player became a probable COVID-19 case.
The coach admitted the team struggled to stay focused after a Blackwater player tested positive while the Elite were isolated inside the PBA bubble as well along with the players of TNT who the team played just days ago.
Blackwater’s match against Rain or Shine, that was supposed to be the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, was also postponed.
Victolero said he got an assurance from PBA commissioner Willie Marcial that everything was under control.
“Some of my players were asking kung tuloy ang game kasi nga na-cancel ‘yung first game. I talked to the commissioner para ma-straighten up kung ano ang gagawin. He told me na tuloy naman at dalawang team lang ang magka-quarantine,” said Victolero.
“[Marcial] told me na tuloy naman at dalawang team lang ang magka-quarantine. Sabi ko kay Com, 'Puwede ba makausap mo ‘yung ibang key players ko para magkaroon sila ng peace of mind? Payag naman siya,” said Victolero.
Thanks to Marcial’s calming assurance, Victolero said the Hotshots managed to focus on the business at hand.
They ended up beating Barangay Ginebra, 102-92, on Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak and end a string of 11 losses to Ginebra in elimination-round games. It was also the Gin Kings' first loss in five games.
“I texted all my players to stay focused and [that]we are safe and the commissioner assured us na we are safe here in the bubble," Victolero said. "Nag-settle down lang ‘yung minds namin na meron kaming kailangang business na tapusin."