Magnolia takes first of three pictures at finals berth; SMB eyes essential edge

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Magnolia takes first of three pictures at finals berth; SMB eyes essential edge

With doubts nonetheless lingering on Meralco’s Raymond Almazan, Magnolia bigman Ian Sangalang would be the focus in Recreation 5. —PBA IMAGES

After flaunting command final week utilizing an unrelenting protection that didn’t give the enemy an inch, Magnolia will attempt to put Meralco away on Wednesday at Don Honorio Ventura State College in Bacolor city, Pampanga, and enter the PBA Philippine Cup Finals for the third time in 4 years.

The Hotshots may have lots of issues going their means—from momentum to edge in out there manpower—after they tangle with the banged up Bolts at 3 p.m., however coach Chito Victolero is aware of that Meralco isn’t one to go down and not using a struggle.

“We realized from Recreation 3,” he mentioned, referring to the one outing which the Hotshots misplaced in 4 video games of this collection. “So, we’ll have the identical mindset as we did and attempt to remind the gamers to be in line with it.”

Mark Barroca, the Hotshot’s trusty ground common who was the Recreation 4 hero, is aware of all too properly that it’s this type of recreation that’s hardest to win—although the Hotshots even have three probabilities to do it.

“Based mostly on my expertise [in this league], closing out a collection is the toughest,” he mentioned. “We’ve got to triple the form of effort we introduced within the final recreation, as a result of there’s no means that [Meralco’s] going handy the victory to us.”

Magnolia’s cautious strategy, if something, is justified. Undermanned and all, Meralco proved in a 91-86 stunner in Recreation 3 that it’s nonetheless a succesful bunch even with out Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge.

Wednesday’s do-or-die may pan out in a different way with the 6-foot-7 Almazan being a game-time determination.

“It’s solely till we get win No. 4 that we finish the collection … we have now to remain targeted, and proceed to remind every one that an important recreation is the one we’re about to play,” Victolero mentioned.

In the meantime, San Miguel seems to repeat towards TNT within the 6 p.m. nightcap, seeking to break a 2-2 tie and seize the lead on this aspect of the Ultimate 4 for the primary time.

“The following recreation is de facto vital. It’s pivotal,” mentioned Leo Austria, who drew commendable performances from all of his eight stars in a 116-90 blowout of the top-seeded Tropang Giga final Sunday.

“I hope we’re capable of preserve, maintain the way in which we performed [Game 4],” he went on.

“Although the gamers have to remain grounded and never have fun [the one-sided Game 4 win]. As a substitute, they need to consider one thing that would assist us once more in our subsequent recreation.”

San Miguel has at all times performed catch-up with TNT within the collection till Recreation 4, the place the Beermen led by as massive as 37 factors and made it appear to be the Tropang Giga didn’t belong on the identical ground with them.

The strain is now on TNT to foil San Miguel from manufacturing momentum in what has turn into a digital best-of-three race. And that process has turn into much more difficult with Poy Erram additionally getting dominated as a game-time determination.

Kelly Williams, in the meantime, can also be hoping to clear the league’s well being protocols.

Magnolia takes first of three pictures at finals berth; SMB eyes essential edge
Magnolia takes first of three pictures at finals berth; SMB eyes essential edge

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