CHITO Victolero admitted Magnolia got a big break in Game 2 following the subsequent exits of Meralco big men Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge.
Chito Victolero on Meralco bigs
The Bolts’ two key players went out in separate stretches of the third period, with Almazan going down with a leg injury and Hodge being called for his second technical foul for an outright ejection.
Meralco was within striking distance when it both lost Almazan and Hodge, allowing the Hotshots to pull away for good in the final quarter and prevail, 92-78, for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Victolero wishes both Meralco players good, but said their absence definitely helped the cause of his team.
“Of course it’s a big factor, they’re key players,” said the Magnolia mentor. “It’s a break sa amin.”
But Victolero said those are breaks of the game, and even if the two bigs were around, the Hotshots were just as ready as they’ve shown in the series opener, 88-79.
“Of course, hindi naman kami doon naka-fcous. Alam namin kahit sino sa Meralco can step up,” he added.
“Nandoon si Raymond or si Hodge malaking bagay. Pero kung wala sila we will not relax, hindi kami puwedeng mag-relax. We will try to push hard as long as meron kaming limang kalaban doon.”