The Magnolia Hotshots are about to take their 1st of 2 chances at dethroning Philippine Cup perennial champion San Miguel Beermen.
The Hotshots and the Beermen square off tonight, 6:30pm, in Game 6 of their best-of-seven title series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Back on top of after surviving San Miguel’s furious 4th quarter rally in Game 5, Magnolia is riding the momentum of its latest victory which was marred by a streaker dressed as Spider-Man who ran the full-length of the court while waving a hand-written message.
“Closing out a series is the hardest thing to do, most especially against a team like San Miguel, but we’re positive if we follow the game plan, help one another, and of course play defense, then we’ll have a good chance,” said Magnolia star guard Paul Lee who hurt his shoulder during the game but promises to show up in tonight’s possible title-clinching match.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero, for his part, is confident that his team can finally avenge their 1-4 loss at the hands of the very same team in last season’s Philippine Cup finale.
“For this group, as long as we work hard together, we can do it,” stressed Victolero.
“I love the maturity of these guys, the experience we got from last year and last conference certainly helped us. We battled a lot in these kinds of situation before so they know how to win,” he added.
The challenge of closing out the powerhouse Beermen is as real as it gets for Victolero and the Hotshots as they remain the only team in the league, and probably in the rest of the organized basketball world, to successfully come back from a 0-3 series deficit.
The ‘Beeracle’ happened during the 2016 edition of the same conference and is the only thing standing in the way of the Hotshots and their quest to reclaim the title they last won in 2014.