PBA: Magnolia's true character tested in Manila Clasico loss

Philip Matel on Oct 28, 2018 10:24 PM
PBA: Magnolia's true character tested in Manila Clasico loss
For Magnolia coach Chito Victolero, a win in the storied rivalry game was never the goal, but clinching a top-four seed, which they did Friday evening in Antipolo. (File photo courtesy PBA Media Bureau)

Despite losing their seventh straight Manila Clasico in the eliminations against rivals Ginebra, coach Chito Victolero said that his team passed a test of character Sunday evening.

Although they lost the contest, 93-86, the coach was very much satisfied on how the team outscored their competitors in the second half, 33-24, and almost mounted a comeback against the two-time defending champs.

For Victolero, a win in the storied rivalry game was never the goal, but rather clinching a top-four seed, which they did Friday evening in Antipolo. 

It's mission accomplished for his team, who are looking for a deep run in the playoffs as the second seed with an 8-3 record. 

"I'm very happy pa din and proud of my players because ang pinagusapan lang naman namin this game, best effort e. Because I know they are tired also last Friday because yun yung talagang naka-focus kami para makuha namin yung aming goal na Top 4," the mentor said after the game.

In fact, the coach was all smiles despite the loss since they will be resting for at least a week before hostilities start Nov. 6, against any of the MVP-owned teams (NLEX, Meralco, Talk N' Text).

Victolero also praised his opponents and his counterpart Tim Cone for being well-prepared for the anticipated affair, who led by as much as 22 in the late stages of the third.

With the early arrival of import Romeo Travis, the former floor general shared that the budding chemistry between the reinforcement and the locals had completely flourished, along with the veteran leadership of Paul Lee, Rafi Reavis,Mark Barroca, and PJ Simon. 

"I told them that this is a character game. Medyo mabigat yung una but because of our character. Nakahabol kami. Yun ang gusto kong makuha nung huli and I think na-achieve naman namin yun." 

"And going into the playoffs, na-achieve naman namin yun."

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