Magnolia WAGS find strength in numbers as they storm heavens for underdog Hotshots
Magnolia's WAGS (wives and girlfriends) cheer and pray at ringside. Jerome Ascano

WATCHING from the sidelines, Magnolia's WAGS (wives and girlfriends) find strength in numbers as they storm the heavens for the underdog Hotshots in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against San Miguel.

With the Hotshots fighting for dear life at 1-3 down in the best-of-seven championship series, the team's supportive wives and girlfriends turn into prayer warriors at ringside.

Lorie Victolero, wife of Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero, also acts as the de facto leader of the WAGS.

“Kaming mga wives and girlfriends, kapag alam na namin na (dikitan na ang laban), tahimik na kami and pray na kami. Kailangan sama-sama kami kasi collective din ’yung prayers namin,” said Mrs. Victolero.

Newly crowned Miss Philippines Supranational Jezha Huelar is also the No. 1 cheerleader of her fiancee PJ Simon and turns to prayer when the action heats up on the floor.

“I just always pray and I always want him to be safe and healthy lang,” said Huelar.

Unlike the wives and girlfriends of active players, Cindy Patrimonio and Danica Sotto-Pingris are calmer.

Cindy, wife of former Purefoods star and now team manager Alvin Patrimonio, is no longer as intense when watching the games compared to when her four-time MVP husband was still playing.

“Iba na ang feeling kasi hindi na naglalaro si Alvin pero I still want them to win,” she said.

Danica still shows up during games even if her husband Marc Pingris is sitting on the bench due to ACL injury. More than anything else, she prays for all the players' safety.

“Part the game na ang nagkakasakitan kaya ako pray na lang,” said Danica, daughter of TV host-comedian Vic Sotto.

But Rubie Lee and Ruselle Barroca, who have been with their husbands since their college days, do not mind cheering all out for the Hotshots.

“Masaya na magkakasama kayo kasi minsan ang katabi mo hindi masyadong energetic, unlike kapag wives and girlfriends ng players give kung give (ang cheer),” said Mrs. Lee, who is on the family way.

“Syempre all out na, para sa akin cheer na para support sa team,” added Mrs. Barroca. “Oo naman, kasi iisa lang naman kami ng chini-cheer, so it helps na sama-sama kami.”

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