There’s no letting up for Magnolia, even if its lofty ranking has been assured.
Mike Harris made sure of that by leading the Hotshots to a cruising 18-91 win over his former team, Alaska, Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Harris notched 36 points and 10 rebounds, the bulk of those points enabling Magnolia to get off to a fiery start and gain an early big separation from Alaska, which opted not to bring back the American in the 2019 edition of the same tourney despite him taking them all the way to the finals the year before.
Actually, the former Best Import awardee saw action in just three quarters. But Magnolia’s other players, including the relievers, did not let up and even stretched the gap to as much as 105-76, at about the midway point of the fourth period.
“In the pre-game, sinabi ko lang sa kanila na there is no such thing as no-bearing,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. “Our attitude, our mindset, and our system is the most important game is kung ano ‘yung lalaruin.”
Ultimately, the Hotshots formalized their third straight win and a 9-1 record overall, aside from officially claiming the top seeding in the ensuing eight-team quarterfinals where they would tote a win-once advantage over the eighth-ranked squad.
Victolero also said they have no plan on letting up when they wind up the eliminations against Blackwater on Wednesday. “We’ll try to get the momentum that we want going to the playoffs,” he stated.