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    Magnolia goes for share of PBA lead vs Barangay Ginebra

    Jul 25, 2021

    MAGNOLIA Pambansang Manok shoots for a share of the lead in the PBA Philippine Cup when it goes up against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

    The Hotshots aim to join Rain or Shine on top of the standings in an early clash with their rival Gin Kings in the 4:35 p.m. encounter.

    Buoyed by their 84-82 win over Alaska on Wednesday, Magnolia hopes to stay undefeated, well aware of the importance to start out strong in the season-opening conference.

    Magnolia coach Chito Victolero recalled the team's campaign in the bubble last year when the Hotshots got off to a slow start, until finally finding their rhythm and won consecutive games.

    It was not enough, however, as they ended up seventh in the team standings and lost to Phoenix Super LPG in the playoffs.

    “We learned a lot from the bubble. ‘Yun ang binigyan ko ng emphasis on the preparation. We had a slow start sa bubble, then we had a hard time to recover. Naka-six game winning streak kami doon, but the problem is naka-7-4 kami, nasa seven kami. ‘Yun ang sabi ko sa kanila. We learned a lot from that,” said Victolero.

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      Barangay Ginebra, meanwhile, picked up its first win by defeating Blackwater, 96-81, on Friday. Head coach Tim Cone said the team still needs time in order to get back to its usual form.

      “We believe that we will get better as the conference goes along. We really don’t have too much panic this early in the conference. We know we really have a tough opponent coming in against Magnolia. Obviously, they are one of the top teams in the league. Hopefully, we can turn around and put together a good game against them,” said Cone.

      NorthPort, San Miguel collide

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      In the first game, NorthPort and San Miguel clash with an aim to register its second straight victory at 2 p.m. Both teams own a 1-1 record.

      The Batang Pier dominated Phoenix Super LPG, 115-79, in their Wednesday clash to claim the bounce-back win.

      Atoning for their season-opening defeat against Meralco, the Beermen showed why they are one of the title contenders in the league after beating NLEX, 110-93, on Friday.

      Terrafirma back on the court

      Terrafirma meantime, returns to action as it battles NLEX in the final game for the day at 7 p.m.

      The Dyip go back to the court after a week since their season debut. The ballclub observed the league’s health and safety protocol after four TNT players had to undergo confirmatory COVID-19 testing.

      As TNT’s opponent last week, the Dyip, whose testing yielded a negative result, also had to go under isolation. The Dyip lost to the Tropang GIGA, 86-79.

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      How the one-week break will affect Terrafirma remains to be seen especially as it faces an NLEX side that just played last Friday.

      NLEX is looking for a win especially with the controversy involving Kiefer Ravena already behind them. The 27-year-old guard officially got clearance from the PBA to play in the Japan B.League on Saturday, and will suit up in the remaining games of the Road Warriors in the Philippine Cup.

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