Hotshots know what to do to recover from Manila Clasico loss
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 10, 2017 09:31 AM
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT. Tony Mitchell and the rest of Star vowed to do nothing but bounce back from their loss in the Manila Clasico.
Star is no longer perfect in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
And the first blemish on the Hotshots’ record came at the hands of archrival Ginebra.
Losing a lead of 12 points in the third quarter, the erstwhile undefeated team allowed the Gin Kings to stage a comeback behind import Justin Brownlee.
In the end, Ginebra never said die and in the end, Star dropped its first game in five starts on Sunday.
While the decision did not favor them, head coach Chito Victolero was quick to point out that it was still early in the elimination round to draw any conclusions. As he put it, “This is an elimination round game. This is one loss and it’s a long way to go.”
Nonetheless, Victolero was also quick to take the blame for the Hotshots’ collapse. “Sabi ko sa kanila it’s my fault because I did not prepare them mentally for the game. The locals knew this (will be) an emotional game, but nung nasa actual na, medyo nawala,” he said.
More than the locals, it was actually reinforcement Tony Mitchell who fell short of his standards. After averaging 22 points and 16 rebounds in his first four outings, he had 21 points on 9/21 shooting to go along with just nine rebounds in his first Manila Clasico.
Talking about their American import, Paul Lee said, “Frustrated siya. First time niya makalaban Ginebra and credit sa depensa ng Ginebra, binigyan nila ng mahirap na game si Tony ngayon.”
Without a doubt, the jam-packed MOA Arena also had an effect on Mitchell. Talking about the bright lights and the big stage, Victolero said, “Yun yung one thing na sinasabi namin sa kanya before the game and I think he learned a lot from this. Yun lang naman hinihingi namin.”
The Hotshots may have tasted their first loss, but their mentor remains confident that they will do nothing but bounce back. “Mga veterans naman ang players ko. The know what to do para maka-recover kami,” he said.
He then continued, “They are battle-tested. Maka-regroup lang, okay na ulit kami.”