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    PHOTO: marlo cueto

    ANTIPOLO CITY – On a two-game roll to keep the solo lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Magnolia has no plans of slowing down.

    With two heavyweights next on the Hotshots’ itinerary, coach Chito Victolero said the team needs all the wins it can get to keep the fire burning as they enter the homestretch of the eliminations.

    “We just try to stay humble at the same time, we need to stay hungry and prepare for our next games,” he said after Magnolia eked out a 90-80 win against Phoenix on Saturday at the Ynares Center.

    READ: Rakocevic, Abueva double-doubles lead Magnolia to wire-to-wire win

    The two next two games indeed, are tough ones for the league leader.

    The Hotshots take on defending champion San Miguel Beermen (3-4) on Wednesday, then followed it up with a showdown against guest team Bay Area Dragons (6-2) three days after.

    Counting its game against the Fuel Masters, Magnolia is actually playing three games in a seven-day span.

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      “We have three games in one week. So this is the start of a grind for us. We face the tough teams for the next three games,” said Victolero. “We have to have our eyes on the prize, we just try to focus on our preparation. Alam naman ng mga bata yun kung gaano kahirap yung week namin.”

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      Despite a wire-to-wire win against the Fuel Masters for a league-best 7-1 slate, a playoffs spot is certainly not yet on the minds of the Hotshots.

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      “I just congratulate them for the win and I told them, it’s still a long way to go,” said Victolero. “Malayo pa. We still have four games to go, so kailangan pa rin naming magpapanalo.”

      The Hotshots end their elimination round assignment with games against Meralco and Rain or Shine, two teams still very much in contention for a quarterfinals slot.

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      PHOTO: marlo cueto
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