DESPITE a defeat, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said he was impressed with how the Hotshots performed in their first match of the year.
The Hotshots has a heartbreaking season debut after copping the Governors’ Cup last December, bowing to TNT in overtime, 80-75, on Sunday in the Philippine Cup.
Victolero hardly sounded disappointed after the loss, drawing positives from seeing his players put on a solid defense even if most of them have yet to hit top form.
“Maganda. Hindi ko inexpect na ganun lalaruin namin kasi siyempre, ‘yung timing talaga,” said Victolero. “Sobrang hirap. ‘Yung depensa lang namin nagdala eh. Tapos na-injured pa si Paul (Lee).”
“Mabilis mapagod. Halos three to four minutes, mabilis lang ako magpalit ng tao. Wala pa talaga,” Victolero said.
Magnolia had a chance to take the win, with Raffy Reavis hitting a jumper to put the Hotshots ahead, 71-70.
Jio Jalalon, however, failed to make it a three-point game when he split his two free throws with 10 seconds left in regulation, leading to a basket by Troy Rosario that sent the game into overtime.
The Hotshots were able to tie the match again at 74 only for the KaTropa to pull away.
“I’m very happy kasi lumaban ‘yung mga bata. Muntik pa nga, may mga defensive lapses lang kami pero overall, okay naman,” said Victolero.