PBA Finals: Magnolia’s greatest strength shows up in Game 1 win

Paul Lintag on May 02, 2019 07:00 AM
PBA Finals: Magnolia’s greatest strength shows up in Game 1
Magnolia’s backcourt put up a strong performance Wednesday, giving the team the edge it needed to beat four-time defending champion San Miguel Beer for an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-7.

At least for Game 1 of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Magnolia’s greatest strength as a team was highlighted and it led to a big series-opening win for the Hotshots.

Magnolia’s backcourt put up a strong performance Wednesday, giving the team the edge it needed to beat four-time defending champion San Miguel Beer for an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-7.

Paul Lee was at the forefront of the attack with 18 points followed by Mark Barroca with 17. Jio Jalalon finished with 16 points and Justin Melton had 11 for good measure.

While the backcourt has mostly carried the Hotshots in these playoffs, Game 1 of the Finals was the first time the entire unit had this kind of production all at the same time.

Magnolia kinda needed it as the Hotshots had to withstand a 35-point, 21-rebound effort from five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo on the other side.

“Sana tuluy-tuloy lang kasi yun yung strength namin. Kapag maganda nilalaro ng mga guards namin, madali basketball para samin,” Paul Lee said of their Game 1 production.

“We need to be aggressive, all the guards. And kailangan ma-shoot lang namin yung mga nakukuha naming libre,” he added.

After a Game 1 stunner, the Hotshots naturally look forward for an answer from the Beermen.

If there’s one team that knows how San Miguel responds, it’s Magnolia. The Hotshots took a similar 1–0 lead in last year’s Finals and then went on to lose four straight.

“Kailangan maging ready kami. Kailangan makita namin kung ano yung mga mali namin, may time kami mag-correcct tomorrow [in practice],” Lee said.

“Ibubuhos namin lahat every game, and kug may chance kami sa huli na makuha yung panalo, grab lang namin,” he added.

 

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