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    Victolero still positive as Magnolia in best-of-3 playoffs instead of do-or-die

    Jul 18, 2019
    PHOTO: jerome ascaño

    MAGNOLIA coach Chito Victolero is sticking to the positives after the Hotshots lost their fourth straight game heading into the PBA Commissioner's Cup quarterfinals.

    Victolero said they will be looking at having a positive mindset entering the playoffs after having lost four in a row with a 98-83 loss to TNT on Wednesday night, to finish the eliminations with a 5-6 card.

    “We just try to prepare hard and be positive,” said Victolero. “We have a four-game losing streak. Medyo mabigat. Ang maganda dito, may chance kami.”

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    Victolero can definitely draw something positive from the last time the Hotshots played the Gin Kings in the playoffs where they won in the final two matches of the best-of-three quarterfinals of the Philippine Cup.

    Magnolia also could have easily dropped to seventh place with a loss against TNT, but San Miguel bowed to Meralco in the first game, forcing a three-way tie that sent the Hotshots at fifth and the Beermen at seventh.

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    “It is equal ‘yung opportunity. Best-of-three kesa sa seven or eight na twice-to-beat disadvantage. Mas maganda chance namin although it’s the defending champions. Gusto ko pa rin ‘yung chance kung ano man ‘yung meron ngayon,” said Victolero.

    Victolero said he welcomed the next two days for Hotshots’ preparations for the Justin Brownlee-led Gin Kings especially with new import Rakeem Christmas having an extra day of practice to acclimatize with the team.

    Victolero admitted Christmas is still suffering from jetlag as he only arrived last Monday night and practiced with the team the following morning.

    “Siyempre, malaki rin ‘yung adjustment niya. May jetlag. Kailangan niya mag-acclimatize, ‘yung system. Siguro ‘yung next two days, maganda para sa aming lahat ‘yung preparation namin, kung anong gagamitin naming depensa, and then mas lalo niyang makikilala ‘yung mga kalaban niya,” said Victolero.

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    The Magnolia coach also urged his team to not dwell on the past games and focus on Barangay Ginebra.

    “Blessed pa rin kami. We are still in the quarters against Ginebra. Sabi ko lang, don’t dwell on the last four games. We have to move forward and let’s prepare hard for the quarterfinals,” said Victolero.

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    PHOTO: jerome ascaño
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