If Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok needed a tough game in preparation for a big match-up, it sure got one from Blackwater.
The Hotshots got stretched to the limit by the Elite before carving a 78-72 win Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
It was the fifth straight win and sixth in seven games in all for Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok, pushing it above erstwhile co-leader and defending champion San Miguel Beer, which the former meets Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
“A win is a win,” was how Magnolia coach Chito Victolero philosphized the triumph, notwithstanding the scrambling manner it was fashioned.
Victolero also admitted his team has a lot to work on going to the SMB game. “Medyo mabigat, but no excuses,” he said.
“We’ll just try to find ways to beat SMB on Sunday. Medyo mahirap nga lang,” Victolero added. “Kailangan naming mag-regroup siguro. Proper mindset at huwdag naming isipin na pagod kami. Kailangan lang mag-ready kami for tomorrow’s practice.”
The loss was the fourth straight and fifth in seven outings for Blackwater. But not after making Magnolia sweat in buckets.
MAGNOLIA 78 – Ramos 14, Barroca 14, Melton 8, Sangalang 8, Pascual 7, Jalalon 6, Simon 6, Dela Rosa 6, Pingris 4, Herndon 3, Reavis 2, Gamalinda 0, Brondial 0.
BLACKWATER 72 – Belo 25, Maliksi 17, Cortez 8, Erram 6, Jose 4, Pinto 3, DiGregorio 2, Marcelo 2, Sena 2, Sumang 2, Palma 1, Cruz 0, Javier 0.
Quarter scores: 23-13, 42-29, 61-54, 78-72.