PBA Philippine Cup

‘We’ll try again this time’: Magnolia sets tone in Philippine Cup debut

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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‘We’ll try again this time’: Magnolia sets tone in Philippine Cup debut

ALL OUT. Magnolia's Ian Sangalang goes for a shot against Converge's Justin Arana.


‘We need to move forward. We need to forget what happened and learn from that,’ says coach Chito Victolero as Magnolia starts over after another runner-up finish

MANILA, Philippines – A month removed from another bridesmaid finish in the last Commissioner’s Cup, the Magnolia Hotshots set a rousing tone to start the PBA Philippine Cup. 

In a systematic beatdown, the Hotshots trounced the still winless Converge FiberXers, 106-75, in their first game back after losing to the San Miguel Beermen in Game 6 of last conference’s finals. 

The Hotshots fielded the same lineup as last conference, hoping to replicate their Commissioner’s Cup campaign, where they topped the standings with 9 wins and 2 losses, and perhaps eclipse their runner-up finish

However, for Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero, the start of their conference means a clean slate for their team.

“We need to move forward. We need to forget what happened and learn from that,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero on starting the new conference after a finals loss. “We’re still blessed. At the right time, maybe we’ll have it (championship).” 

“We’ll try again this time. It’s a good start for us.”

After an early four-point lead by Converge, the Hotshots stepped on the gas and never looked back, outscoring the FiberXers in every quarter as Magnolia’s lead ballooned to as big as 33 points. 

Magnolia remained unrelenting even when the results were already set in stone as the Hotshots continued to dive for loose balls in garbage time of the final period.

This show of effort from his players left Victolero raving. 

“All credit to my players. Even though we came out of a long break, they played here with the right approach and right mindset,” said the head tactician. 

All but one Magnolia player who saw action scored, with Ian Sangalang leading the way with 17 points. Calvin Abueva, meanwhile, flirted with a double-double of 14 markers and 8 rebounds. 

Jio Jalalon also contributed 14 points along with 7 assists and 5 steals, while Mark Barroca matched his steals output to come with 12 markers and 6 assists for the Hotshots. 

“We prepare hard [every game]. We want to give ourselves a chance every conference, and we want to go to the finals and win the championship,” Victolero added. “It just comes down to proper mindset.”

Victolero hopes the game set the tone of their campaign for the rest of the conference. 

“We want to sustain the momentum, but of course, it’s all about the players’ mindset,” he said. “These players love each other. That is why we are committed to each other.”

The Scores

Magnolia 106 – Sangalang 17, Jalalon 14, Abueva 14, Barroca 12, Dela Rosa 8, Tartter 8, Lee 7, Laput 6, Ahanmisi 5, Escoto 4, Eriobu 3, Dionisio 2, Corpuz 2, Mendoza 0.

Converge 75 – Arana 17, Stockton 15, Santos 13, Caralipio 8, Winston 8, Delos Santos 6, Maagdenberg 3, Fornilos 2, Nieto 2, Balanza 1, Fleming 0, Andrade 0, Melecio 0, Ambohot 0, Zaldivar 0. 

Quarters: 24-20, 53-39, 79-59, 106-75.

– Rappler.com

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