Magnolia succumbed to San Miguel’s superior firepower in Game 2 but a late run in the final frame avoided a demoralizing lopsided defeat and instead gave the team hope going into the third game of the best-of-seven championship series.
The Hotshots went down by as much as 21 points but a spirited fightback in the 4th period reduced the deficit to a respectable 7 points, 108-101 just as the final buzzer sounded.
The late game run is considered by Magnolia coach Chito Victolero as a positive sign and something he hopes the Hotshots could continue into Game 3.
“Medyo late na pero I love the effort. Madadala namin yun sa next game,” said Victolero of his team’s valiant last ditch stand.
Unlike Game 1 where it was mostly a nip-and-tuck affair all throughout, the Beermen took control of Game 2 especially in the 3rd canto where the defending champions were virtually unstoppable. The Hotshots picked up their tempo midway into the 4th but it was all too late.
“Na-control naman nila yung tempo ngayon. And sabi ko nga, once na maka-100 points yung San Miguel, malaki ang chance na matalo kami,” explained the league’s latest champion mentor.
While proud of his team’s effort, Victolero gave credit nonetheless to the superb performance of their finals opponent.
“I give credit to the guys, sa mga players ko kasi hindi sila nag-give up. Maganda lang talaga yung laro ng San Miguel ngayon.”