PBA: Hotshots believe they can win Manila Clasico
Paul Lintag on Nov 13, 2018 02:15 PM
Chito Victolero and the Magnolia Hotshots are on the brink of winning Manila Clasico and advancing to the PBA Finals.
In Game 5 of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, first-year head coach Chito Victolero put the Star Hotshots on the brink of a Finals trip.
Beating Ginebra in Manila Clasico, Victolero's Hotshots took a crucial 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.
That Game 5 decision would turn out to be the Hotshots' last Manila Clasico win for nearly two full years.
Star ended up losing that series in seven games and the Hotshots would lose five more Clasico games until Game 1 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup semifinals.
Saturday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, Magnolia finally beat Ginebra to snap a seven-game losing skid to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 series.
More importantly, it proved that Victolero and his boys have what it takes to actually take down the mighty Gin Kings, who have won another two championships since the 2017 Philippine Cup.
"We need to believe," Victolero said aftre Game 1.
"We need to send a message also na we can play. That's why we're here in the semifinals because we have that talent also. But it's only Game 1," he added.
Well Game 2 came and went Monday and the Hotshots won again.
Now, similar to the 2017 Philippine Cup semifinals, Magnolia is up 2-0 on Ginebra.
But unlike the All-Filipino last year, this is just a best-of-5 series and if the Hotshots reach to three wins first, which they did in 2017, they finally win.
They just have to believe that they can do it this time.
"We still remember the All-Filipino last year. We're up 2-0 and talo kami sa series," Victolero said after Magnolia's close Game 2 victory.
"I still remember that, my players remember that. Yun ang inspiration namin for this series. We'll try our best na makuha namin yung pangatlong panalo," he added.
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