Paul Lee ruled out for semis but Victolero still confident despite Star on brink of elimination
Star coach Chito Victolero hopes his wards stay positive and confident to be able to claw back from a 0-2 hole in the semis series vs Meralco. Jerome Ascano

STA. ROSA, Laguna – Its back may be against the wall, but Star isn’t about to concede this PBA Governors Cup semifinals against Meralco.

Coach Chito Victolero still likes the Hotshots chances even if they’re down 2-0 against the rampaging Bolts after suffering a 98-74 beating Tuesday night at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex here.

Victolero stressed the need for everybody to step up if the Hotshots are to stay alive in the best-of-five series, especially now with star point guard Paul Lee out of the semis owing to a recurring knee injury.

“This is not yet over, we need to win (all) three games,” said Victolero before boarding the team bus heading back to Manila. “We still have a chance, we just have to take it one game at a time.

“Everybody needs to step up with Paul Lee out of the series.”

Victolero lamented Star’s bad start which contributed to its downfall, just two days after dropping the series opener, 72-66, in a game where the Hotshots led by as much as 17 points.

Their offense failing to click, so did their defense.

“We had a bad start, and yung defense namin naapektuhan na rin,” he said. “Masama yung opensa namin, although factor din naman yung depensa ng Meralco."

In all, Star just shot 32 percent from the floor (27 of 85). It also had lesser assists, 28-11.

But Victolero said the Hotshots need to put behind their twin losses, and look at the series starting on Game 3 Thursday with a fresh approach.

“Basta magkaroon lang kami ng magandang mindset,” he said.

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