Back to life


Mark Barroca (left) was one of the heroes of Magnolia’s late secession. —PHOTO PBA IMAGES

Coach Chito Victolero brought a sigh of relief shortly after Magnolia’s victory over sister team Barangay Ginebra on Sunday night in the Philippine Cup.

It was the only type of reaction he could provoke after the Hotshots went through a stormy week inside the Philippine Basketball Association bubble, where his squad had to experience “a lot of disruption.”

His Hotshots three-game downturn, which he felt helped punch the team’s morale.

There was such disintegration that his accusations against Phoenix suffered just two nights before.

There was a threat that the bubble of the league’s multiple competitions would be broken.

But deeply Victolero knew that his team was able to overcome such obstacles.

“I felt it was a challenge we had to take on,” he told reporters at the quiet University of Angeles Foundation, which is run by Smart 5G here, after he also believed he was rebuilding a character through a loud match with his much-loved Gin. Kings usually attracts a crowd of fans.

Magnolia really looked.

Hotshots outperformed Ginebra in almost all departments: from the inside (44-34), second-chance appearance (19-15) and transition (11-8), a pace dictating almost all night.

Hotshots received goods from six players, including an eruption from off-season Jackson Corpuz, who scored the team’s top 20 points, most of which were in the first half.

“The boys are no longer under such pressure,” said Victolero, whose squad improved to 2-4, which was preferable as his Hotshots suffered the sisters’ team’s first defeat in five outings, and it happened in the most anticipated conference game. was played without fans due to a coronavirus pandemic.

While Victolero talked about how much the win lifted his team’s mood, he said it could also be beneficial, as this compressed tournament wears out when victory for a crowd of lovers has torn a string of four straight losses.

“It’s a little new to us because we’re so used to Clasico typically packing 20,000 people in an Araneta or other place,” he said.

But it’s not just the rivalry and victory that put Purefood’s all-time record against Ginebra at 103-95, but it eventually returns to the groove that lifted Victolero high and excited.

“The most important thing now is that we got a W,” he said. “That’s what we really need now.”

“Last year, if you remember, we also started 1-4. And even after an unstable start, we managed to gain momentum, “he said.

This groove led them to final dates against another brother: five-time All-Philippine champion San Miguel Beer, whom Magnolia barely disappointed.

“We hope to achieve the same result,” Victolero said.

Maybe he just forgot to say that this time they’ll want to go all the way. INQ

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