The Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok is scheduled for a best-of-seven semi-finals series against the NLEX Road Warriors at 7:00 P.M. on March 16, 2018 live from the Mall of Asia Arena.
After winning the Game 1 one of their semis, the Road Warriors lost its next two game schedules and are now down 1-2 against the Hotshots.
In Game 2, everyone witnessed the scoring barrage of Paul Lee as he demolished the team of his former head coach Yeng Guiao (during their Rain or Shine Elasto Painters days). In Game 3, it was Jio Jalalon and Ian Sangalang.
Jalalon who is now one of the familiar faces each time there is a Gilas Pilipinas games notched 25 points and his new career-high. Sangalang the second overall pick of 2013 PBA Draft added 24 points along with his 7 rebounds.
Playoffs experience might be the key of Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok success versus the youngsters of NLEX Road Warriors led by Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas.
“Iyung experience namin before, I think, mayroon kaming konting advantage doon,” noted Victolero, referring to his side’s three straight semis appearances last season.
“Plus, may mga players kami, like Paul (Lee), Mark (Barroca), Rafi (Reavis) and Ian (Sangalang)… they know how to win big games.”
Even NLEX coach Yeng Guiao agreed with his counterpart comments but he still sees that their series against Magnolia will be a long one despite losing two in a row.
“Lamang sila sa tight games dahil sa experience nila. “Yung mga guards nila lutong-luto na kumpara kina Keiffer (Ravena) at Kevin (Alas ) na bago pa lang,” said Guiao. “We will fight harder on Friday. We know that’s a make or break game for us so well see what happens,” said the NLEX coach.
“Pahahabain pa namin yan (series).”