MANILA, Philippines – If it were up to Magnolia import Romeo Travis, he’d rather take hard-fought triumphs than lopsided ones.
Travis highlighted the need to remain grounded and focused after the Hotshots claimed a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven PBA Governors’ Cup finals with a grueling 77-71 Game 2 win over Alaska on Friday, December 7.
It was a far cry from Magnolia’s 100-84 demolition of the Aces in the series-opener, but the 33-year-old likes it that way.
“I think this is better. I’d rather win like this so we know next game that you can’t get out and play any kind of way,” Travis, who finished with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists, told reporters after the game.
“You win by 16, you kind of get overconfident. It’s hard not to be, we’re all human. This is perfect for us to bring us back down to earth, humble us and let us know that we have to work and it’s going to be a tough game.”
The Hotshots were groomed to get a dose of their own medicine as the Aces led as large as 9 points and held the upper hand for pretty much the entirety of the game.
Fortunately, Magnolia forced a 71-all deadlock and pulled through with the win by keeping Alaska scoreless in the last 4:55 minutes with Jio Jalalon taking care of the clutch buckets.
“We played great defense because our offense was terrible, too many turnovers and rushed shots,” Travis added.
“Sometimes we confuse being aggressive with being in a hurry, that’s what we did especially me. I was in a rush, trying to force a lot. Luckily our defense stepped up in the 4th and I’m happy we won.”
Although now two wins away from the prized title, the former Best Import knows better that the job has yet to be finished.
“We haven’t won the series yet. I don’t want to say that I don’t feel anything, I’m happy we’re ahead but until you get 4 wins, it doesn’t mean anything.”
The Hotshots shoot for a commanding 3-0 lead in Game 3 on Sunday, December 9, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. – Rappler.com
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