PBA 43 Review: Don’t stop believing

Paul Lintag on Jan 07, 2019 10:17 AM
PBA 43 Review: Don’t stop believing
Two big wins over Ginebra and Alaska later, Magnolia won its championship and a season that was going downhill ended in sweet victory.

The PBA's 43rd season was a loooooong one.

Seriously, it started December of 2017 and it ended December of 2018. That's 12 months of almost non-stop basketball.

But with the current PBA season finally drawing to a close, it's time we look back at how each team fared in 2018.

Today, we take on the Magnolia Hotshots.

 


DON’T STOP BELIEVING

2017 was a return to relevance for the Hotshots. After a bad 2016, the team traded for a new star in Paul Lee and rookie head coach Chito Victolero led them to three straight semifinals.

But when you win a Grand Slam just three years prior, three straight semifinals is not gonna cut it.

To start the season, there was no drastic change for the Hotshots, they just went from being called Star to Magnolia. That was the change.

They also continued their streak of semifinal appearances but to start 2018, Magnolia finally over one hump, making the Philippine Cup Finals to challenge the mighty San Miguel Beermen.

While Magnolia won Game 1 of that series, they went on to lose in five. What followed then was a sudden drop in the Commissioner’s cup and all of a sudden, it looked like the Hotshots were actually taking a step back.

Still, the team maintained belief that they were one of the best teams in the PBA and grinded things out. The Governors’ Cup test Magnolia’s resolve and the Hotshots only had themselves to believe that they can win a title.

Two big wins over Ginebra and Alaska later, Magnolia won its championship and a season that was going downhill ended in sweet victory.

It just goes to show that regardless of difficulties, don’t stop believing.

 


Magnolia HOTSHOTS in the 2017- 2018 PBA season

Philippine Cup: 8-3 (2nd place)

Commissioner’s Cup: 6-5 (7th place)

Governors’ Cup: 8-3 (4th place)


Overall: 22 wins and 11 losses. Three playoff appearaces, 2 semifinals, 2 Finals, 1 CHAMPIONSHIP

 


POST DRAFT NOTE:

Magnolia was pretty quiet with the draft, much like the other two teams that actually won a title this season.

The Hotshots are set to bring back their core for next season and they are also expected to welcome back Marc Pingris for 2019.

After playing almost non-stop last season, health is going to be a priority for Magnolia as it looks to run it back with its battle-tested squad this season.

 


Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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