With an early big buffer, Magnolia remains the tournament pacesetter, within reach of a Top 4 berth despite a loss to Rain or Shine the last time out.
The Hotshots eye a quick recovery and turnaround from that defeat as they tangle with the Terrafirma Dyip in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday.
Coach Chito Victolero and his troops saw the end of their perfect run all the way from the preseason PBA On Tour as they dropped a close 113-110 decision against a surging Rain or Shine squad in a road game in Cagayan de Oro Saturday.
At 7-1, the Hotshots, however, are still in their lofty perch atop the heap, leading the race for the Top 4 that reward twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.
The Meralco Bolts (6-1) and the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters (6-1) are their closest pursuers, followed by the San Miguel Beermen (5-3) and the NorthPort Batang Pier (5-3).
Meanwhile, the Dyip are on a lonely spot at 2-5, having lost all their last four outings, including an overtime battle against the previously winless Converge FiberXers, 103-94.
Needless to say, coach Johnedel Cardel and his wards have to get into the groove, compete and start winning if they’re to land into the Magic 8.