REGARDLESS of who their opponent is, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero sees his team as the underdog, a reason for the Hotshots to work even more for the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup finals.
Who will Magnolia face in Finals?
The Hotshots were the first to reach the championship series on Friday when they ousted Meralco, 93-85, to finish their tiff in six games. But being the first in the finals doesn’t mean they are the favorites to win it all, according to Victolero.
“We are the underdog,” said Victolero as he readily claimed the tag shortly after the win. “We face a very talented team kahit sino ang makapasok. We are the underdog. We have to have a good rest para makapag-prepare ang legs and minds namin.”
The Hotshots face the winner of Game 7 between San Miguel and TNT set on Sunday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym.
“Wala kang pipiliin doon,” said Victolero, when asked about their possible opponent. “Sobrang lakas. Sobrang talented. Sobrang deep. We are happy lang na nandito kami sa finals. We will just try to prepare hard.”
Incidentally, Magnolia experienced success against San Miguel this conference with a 100-90 win last September 19, but suffered an 83-76 defeat against TNT in their showdown during the eliminations last September 5.
One of the teams in that Game 7 showdown on Sunday is also very familiar to Magnolia. From 2018 to 2019, the Hotshots faced San Miguel in the Philippine Cup finals series, all ending in disappointing fashion. Two years ago, Magnolia even had a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven showdown only to falter in the end with San Miguel taking the 72-71 win.
“San Miguel, TNT, they are so deep in talent. Hindi ka puwedeng pumili doon. Importante lang mapag-ready mo kahit sino doon,” said Victolero.
We are now on Quento! Download the app to enjoy more articles and videos from SPIN.ph and other Summit Media websites.