The Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok is scheduled for a best-of-seven championship series against the San Miguel Beermen at 7:00 P.M. on March 23, 2018 live from the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Everything that has a beginning will have a Finals round as the Beermen and the Hotshots will meet in the league’s biggest stage. It will be the number one team against the number two squad after the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup eliminations.
San Miguel’s semi-finals round against the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel looks pretty intense if you follow their series but on paper it seems that the Beermen just walked in the park as they dispatched the crowd favorite Ginebra 4-1.
The Hotshots on the other hand got a hard time beating their semis opponent the NLEX Road Warriors, they started their series down 0-1 and even lost Marc Pingris due to an injury. Instead of getting low because of the situation, the Hotshots took it a challenge and took their inspiration from an injured teammate. Then the Pambansang Manok stepped up especially on their defense and now they’re back to PBA Finals.
The Beermen is poised for another championship trophy and currently they’re the favorites but Magnolia’s coach Chito Victolero is trying to find its weakness.
“Siguradong may weakness yan,” said Victolero.
“Kung paguusapan yun first five (June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter) nila, kahit sinong team hindi makakasabay. We need to have a good scheme and we need A-game from our players,” Victolero added.
June Mar Fajardo, a three time Most Valuable Player and one of the main reasons why San Miguel is very formidable especially in All-Filipino conference is looking for a revenge against Magnolia. During his rookie season in the league, he failed to lead his Petron Blaze Boosters against the San Mig Coffee Mixers.
“Hindi ko talaga makakalimutan nung rookie year ko, Magnolia ang first championship heartbreak ko,” said Fajardo. “Pinaiyak nila ako, binasag ko ang PC ko, rookie year ko. Ito na siguro yung time na makabawi ako.”
“Kailangan ko mag-champion para makabili ako ng bagong PC,” added Fajardo, who is fond of playing online games during his spare time.