Magnolia seeks to move a win away from the coveted title when it clashes with Alaska in Game 3 of their Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governor’s Cup best-of-seven finals series today at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
Action starts at 6:30 p.m. with the Hotshots looking to secure a 3-0 series lead to finally claim their first title in four years.
After a huge 100-84 victory in Game 1, the Hotshots unleashed their strong defensive force down the stretch to pull off a 77-71 victory in Game 2 late Friday.
With the victory, Magnolia claimed a 2-0 lead, but head coach Chito Victolero still reminded his wards that the job is far from over.
“Just like what I’ve said before the finals, we came into this series thinking of winning just one game at a time,” said Victolero, who is trying to win his first PBA title over his good friend Alex Compton of Alaska.
“That’s our mindset. We’re not thinking that we’re up or we’re down. We just want to stay on the course and look forward to the next game.”
Victolero said talks about winning the crown are way too premature.
“We can’t afford to celebrate just yet. This is a best-of-seven series and we need four wins to win the crown. I think all of my players know that,” he said.
“But this Game 3 is very important and we should approach it with the same mindset. We should remain on the same page. One game at a time and we’re looking forward to winning in Game 3.”
Leading the bid for the Hotshots is Romeo Travis, who is looking to finally clinch a PBA title that eluded him in 2015 when he was suiting up for Alaska.
Although he already won the Best Import Award, Travis is still tipped to come up with another strong performance to spoil Mike Harris’ bid of securing the prestigious honor.
Compton agreed that the series is far from over, saying that they are still out to spring some surprises, especially since they have yet to win the title for the past five years.
“If this is a three-game series, it’s already over,” said Compton, who will bank on his local players led by Chris Banchero, Vic Manuel and Sonny Thoss.
“We’re gonna keep on going and going. We’re gonna battle.”