For the Magnolia Hotshots, it’s about execution and trying to outwork their rivals as they take their first of two cracks at the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Final Four versus an embattled Rain or Shine side Thursday at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
They are convinced they’ve done their assignments in practice, and it’s about putting the work in the game as they seek to finish off the Elasto Painters in their best-of-three quarterfinals face-off.
Ian Sangalang and his teammates made a key run in the third period to sway the tide in their favor, and they roared on to take Game One at 81-70.
“Kailangan magtrabaho on both ends of the floor. We have to outwork them and at the endgame, kung close ang laban, we have to be smart,” said Sangalang, a vital cog coming through with 19 points and 13 rebounds in the series opener.
Paul Lee top scored with 20 markers, Rome dela Rosa and Jio Jalalon added 10 apiece while Calvin Abueva snared 13 rebounds to go with eight markers as the Hotshots gained the crucial head start in the short series.
“It’s very important, ito yung magbibigay ng momentum kaya talagang pinaghandaan natin ito,” said coach Chito Victolero.
The Magnolia bench chieftain said they will do their best to sustain the effort in a bid to seal a slot in the best-of-seven semis series against the winner of the Meralco-NLEX matchup.