MANILA – If there is one team that knows a Game 1 victory in the best-of-seven finals series is not a guarantee of a PBA championship, it should be the Magnolia Hotshots.
Two conferences ago, the Hotshots drew first blood in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup finale with San Miguel Beermen. But the latter went on to win the next four games to clinch the crown.
In the ongoing 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup titular showdown, the Hotshots again took the 1-0 advantage after shooting down Alaska Aces, 100-84, in the series-opener on Wednesday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero said their experience against the Beermen would serve as a lesson for his crew not to be complacent of the Aces ahead of Game 2 tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We are happy to win Game 1 but this is only the start of the series. After (Wednesday) night, we need to prepare hard for Game 2. Our mindset is do-or-die,” said Victolero.
Added the former Mapua Cardinals mentor: “There’s a long way to go. Hindi kami dapat mag-relax. Kailangan naming mag-push pa because it’s a best-of-seven series. Isa pa lang nakukuha naming.”
Andy Mark Barroca and Jiovani Jalalon, who both played a key role in the Hotshots’ Game 1 victory, agreed that they should be prepared for the planned comeback of the Aces in Game 2.
“Maganda lang ‘yung depensa namin (noong Game 1) and ‘di lang maganda ‘yung opensa (ng Alaska). Next game magbabago ‘yan, kailangan namin trabahuhin,” Barroca said.
Jalalon added: “Hindi namin alam gagawin ng Alaska sa Game 2 kaya kailangan prepared kami. Nanalo kami ng Game 1 pero hindi pa tapos ‘yung laban, kasi ganoong-ganoon din ang nangyari sa amin noong Philippine Cup.”/PN