PBA: Magnolia on red alert as they sink to 1-4
Philip Matel on Mar 07, 2019 05:32 PM
The Magnolia Hotshots fall to a league-worst 1-4 record, not the best of starts for coach Chito Victolero's men.
Following a sterling conclusion to the 2017-18 PBA season, things have not been good for the Magnolia Hotshots.
Another loss was added to their record following an 89-87 defeat against the top-seeded Phoenix Fuel Masters Wednesday evening at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Consequently, they fell to a league-worst 1-4 record, not the best of starts for head coach Chito Victolero's men.
Magnolia blew a 17-point lead, which they enjoyed in the second quarter, and a late five-point advantage with less than two minutes to go.
The mentor took blame for the defensive lapses that led to two open triples for Phoenix, which sealed their eighth win of the conference.
"It's on me. Sa akin lahat yun. It's my responsibility, it's my call. Also sa scheme ng depensa na gagamitin namin, sa last part, sa last seconds, sa last shot," admitted Victolero.
Added the tactician, it's now or never for the Hotshots if they want to return to the postseason.
"Itong mga natitirang game namin, kailangan siguro parang playoff mentality na kami. Kung matalo kami ng isa o dalawa, out na siguro kami. We need to improve on our next game," said the reigning Coach of the Year.
What's probably more heartbreaking for Magnolia is the fact that three of the losses could have ended in their favor, if it were not for the heroics of their opposition.
Nevertheless, he stressed that the championship hangover from last December is long gone, as they shift to survival mode the rest of the way.
As Marc Pingris' return to the lineup still unknown, the coach said that they need to pick up the pieces as they wage war against the Alaska Aces in Antipolo this Saturday.
"Kung sino na muna yung nandiyan, doon yung magpo-focus kami," he explained.
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