March 02, 2024

Sigh of relief as Magnolia survives June Mar Fajardo-less San Miguel to stay unbeaten in PBA Commissioner's Cup

Sigh of relief as Magnolia survives June Mar Fajardo-less San Miguel to stay unbeaten in PBA Commissioner
PBA

Magnoia Hotshots coach Chito Victolero was under no illusion the game against an undermanned San Miguel Beermen would be a breeze.

He made a prophet out of himself on Sunday as the Hotshots survived the hard-fighting Beermen, 94-90, at the PhilSports Arenato stay spotless in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

“I told you last game, this is not an easy game for us. Without or with June Mar, it’s always a grinding game against SMB,” said Victolero, whose team now holds a perfect 7-0 win-loss record.

Though playing without June Mar Fajardo, Terrence Romeo, and Simon Enciso, the Beermen stayed within step the entire way.

The Beermen even threatened to steal the game after Ivan Aska scored a quick bucket to pull the Beermen to within two, 92-90. But Aris Dionisio would seal the win with a pair of free throws with 1.6 ticks remaining.

“They’re a champion team. They’re mindset and mental toughness were great. And we need to match that,” Victolero said.

Undefeated since their PBA On Tour opener on May 28, the Hotshots know they need grind-out games like this one to toughen the team up heading into bigger challenges in the playoffs.

“We need this kind of game going into the playoffs because alam natin pag dating sa playoffs ganito laro,” Victolero added.

But before they can think about the playoffs, the Hotshots will fly to Cagayan de Oro and stake their immaculate record against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

Game time is set at 6:15 p.m.

(MDB)