After a grueling period, the Hotshots are now looking at brighter days

Gio Jalalon (center) provided great support to Ian Sangalang against Barangay Ginebra.  —PBA IMAGES

Gio Jalalon (center) provided great support to Ian Sangalang against Barangay Ginebra. —PBA IMAGES

Magnolia barely managed to overcome a gallant enemy on Sunday and the Hotshots moved within a win of climbing to .500, but that didn’t stop coach Chito Victolero from celebrating the victory in a big way.

“In fact, I congratulate my players so much,” he said after the 89-84 decision against Barangay Ginebra in the eliminations for the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Passay City. “I want to say that we talked about adversity, about challenges. We have played three games in the last five days and played with elite teams. Our goal was to win two out of three, and that’s exactly what we did. “

Ian Sangalang and Gio Jalalon contributed to the Hotshots’ second victory in a total of five games, scoring 24 and 19 points respectively to overcome the absence of recovering Paul Lee and the sudden departure of Calvin Abueva, who was sent off in the early fourth quarter.

Bridesmaids at last year’s Philippine Cup, the Hotshots were forced to flee last week. Before facing the audience’s favorites, they played the dangerous NorthPort and the San Miguel Beer crew, who are striving to regain their high place in the tournament, winning only against Batang Pier.

Entering the middle of the conference, Victolero knows that his subordinates are approaching their physical limits due to the schedule.

“All the credit to the players,” he said. “I know how tired they are. I know they went through things mentally and physically. “

But it’s not like this is the first time this healthy crew has happened.

“We’ve been here before, we’ve been together for a while,” Victolero said.

Magnolia also lost four of its first five trips in the 2019 PH Cup before winning all but one of its next six matches to reach the finals and lose to Beermen in seven matches.

“I know these guys – they won’t back down,” Victolero said. “They will continue to insist.” inches

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