Magnolia has not only been consistently winning games, but they have been winning in a commanding and authoritative manner. The only exception to their dominant streak was a thrilling come-from-behind victory against Brgy. Ginebra in a Manila Clasico showdown.
This impressive performance undoubtedly positions the scorching Hotshots as the favored team in their upcoming Wednesday match against the Blackwater Bossing in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena.
The game is set to start at 8 p.m., and coach Chito Victolero’s team is determined to secure their sixth consecutive win as they reach the halfway point of the elimination round. On the other hand, coach Jeff Cariaso’s troops are hoping to put an end to their five-game losing streak.
The odds heavily favor the Hotshots, who have been on an outstanding winning streak since the preseason. They have achieved an impressive 16-0 run starting from the On Tour series.
Even without their star player Calvin Abueva, who is currently sidelined due to injury, Magnolia has been dominating their opponents with ease.
The Hotshots have an abundance of energy and intensity, which they draw from a talented group of players including their combo guards Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, and Jio Jalalon.
In their previous game against the NLEX Road Warriors, the Hotshots engaged in a closely contested battle. However, it was Jalalon who took charge in the second half, leading a high-energy surge that resulted in a convincing 99-72 victory.
“Si Jio ang spark namin. He’s our energy guy. When he came in the third quarter, nag-iba yung tempo ng game,” said Victolero.
Jalalon’s impressive performance included 11 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. He received great support from Tyler Bey (23 points), Barroca (19 points and nine assists), Lee (14 points), and James Laput, who had a career-high 16 points.
Despite their success, Coach Victolero still has some concerns. He wants the Hotshots to be even more consistent in executing their game plan.
“We try to remind our prayers about playing strong and finishing stronger. Kailangan ng reminders, No. 1paalala to run our system,” said Victolero.