The Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok is scheduled for a best-of-seven semi-finals series against the NLEX Road Warriors at 6:30 P.M. on March 10, 2018 live from the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Both the Pambansang Manok and the Road Warriors are after the 1-0 series lead as they resume the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Semi-Finals round tonight at the floors of the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Just a year ago, NLEX is just another team to beat as their opponent squeezing a “W” from them. This All-Filipino conference, they have new look roster lead by their prized rookie, Kiefer Ravena.
Since joining the league back in 2014, NLEX have never won a single playoffs game and their highest achievement was a Quarterfinals round inclusion. Coach Yeng Guiao still not fully convinced that they’re now a legit title contender and will test the character of his team against the league’s number 2 squad.
“We are embarking on an adventure. From here on we are like climbing Mount Everest,” said Guiao.
“The odds are stacked against us, but that’s the way I’ve always wanted it. We are the gatecrashers in this party and we will enjoy this party more than the invited guests. Let’s see if we can make the summit or die trying. It’s all going to be worth it.”
NLEX finished their elimination round as the number sixth seed and was able to topple the number three team, the Alaska Aces in their Quarterfinals best-of-three showdown.
For the Magnolia Hotshots on the other hand, they have sent GlobalPort packing. The Pambansang Manok owns the twice-to-beat advantage and needed only a single game to advance to the next round.
Coach Chito Victolero understands that their semis opponent is on a winning momentum and this is the area he wanted to break.
“We need to tighten our defense not only on Ravena and Alas, but all of their players because they stepped up big in their quarterfinals,” Victolero pointed out.
“But we’re ready for the semis. We’re also motivated in this conference and I think this will be a dogfight. We just need to be mentally tough and physically ready for this (war).”