For the first time in seven years, Magnolia and TNT clash in the PBA Finals – the last stretch of what have been successful rides for both sides after bringing in key pieces in the offseason.
The Hotshots are in the running for a crown in their very first tourney with prized trade recruit Calvin Abueva while the Tropang Giga are contending for a championship in the return of multi-titled coach Chot Reyes.
And there’s a lot more about the Hotshots-Tropang Giga finale that kicks off at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Both have lethal offensive weapons, both are defensive demons and both operate as cohesive units. And all these hint at a fierce showdown in a dispute for the throne vacated by the Barangay Ginebra Kings.
Both are determined to end a long drought and both have a deep desire to pound the opportunity before them. And these could well make for a hotly contested, grind-out series.
“Mabigat na laban, but whether it’s a short or long series, we’ll be ready for it,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
Reyes said he’s thankful for the opportunity to fight for the crown in his PBA return.
“I came into this with just one thought for the team – to get better,” he said. “I spoke to the players about this and they bought into it. I told the vets you don’t have anything to prove, just improve.”