Hotshots brace for crucial stretch

Hotshots brace for crucial stretch

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMagnolia enters a grueling three-week stretch starting Friday afternoon—and how it fares in that span will be crucial to its aspirations for a top-two finish in the PBA Philippine Cup.Tied for the lead going into the second half of their schedule, the Hotshots brace for a dogfight one playdate after the other, starting with back-to-the-wall yet formidable Blackwater as Magnolia tries to keep its hot streak going at Mall of Asia Arena and gain an inside track to a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Meanwhile, the Elasto Painters try to shore up their own playoff drive when they battle the Bolts in the 7 p.m. game.At 3-3 and in the middle of the pack, a win would put the Painters in the upper half of the draw. AFP official booed out of forum “That’s why we know that they will be very dangerous,” Victolero said. “We expect them to come out hard and we need to match their effort and aggressiveness.”Blackwater, despite its 2-4 record, is no pushover.The Elite have a formidable core made up of young talents led by Mac Belo and Poy Erram and own one of the upsets of the tournament, a 94-77 ripping of Barangay Ginebra, last year’s runner-up which played with a full roster when they clashed.Magnolia, which will still play Rain or Shine, GlobalPort and Meralco after its bout with Sa Miguel, holds a huge edge in the guard rotation with Paul Lee and Mark Barroca, and Victolero’s defense is one of the most unforgiving in the league.“The good thing about our situation is that our fate is still in our hands,” Victolero said.ADVERTISEMENT 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting View comments Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch PLAY LIST 01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch00:50Trending Articles01:28’Walang bigayan’: Expect all-out war between sister teams Magnolia, San Miguel01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next LATEST STORIES Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “This game is very important, because a win would help solidify our chances for the top two,” coach Chito Victolero told the Inquirer after prepping his Hotshots for their 4:30 p.m. clash with the Elite.He also needs to score a victory, just for some sort of buffer as their remaining assignments “are some of the top teams in the tournament.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We have the difficult situation of playing back-to-back games, with the second game being San Miguel,” said Victolero as Magnolia faces San Miguel next on just a day’s rest. “But with the proper mindset, and with the character that we have instilled in this team, I think we have a good shot at our goal (finishing in the top two).”The Elite, on the other hand, will come into the game still licking the wounds of a three-game losing streak and are in a situation where they need to string together wins to have a solid shot at making the playoffs for the first time in this conference. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Alab bags victory–and new team sponsor MOST READlast_img

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