The Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok is scheduled for a best-of-seven championship series against the San Miguel Beermen at 6:30 P.M. on March 25, 2018 live from the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Beermen are looking to avenge their heartbreaking Game 1 loss while the Hotshots are aiming for a 2-0 advantage when the 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup Finals resumes at the Mall of Asia Arena.
One of the big reasons why Magnolia is in the championship round is because of their air-tight defense. They have proven that at the final period of their first match as Rafi Reavis blocked the game-tying jump-shot of Arwind Santos.
Despite of being down by as much as twenty points the Hotshots slowly climbed back and took over the driver seat with few minutes remaining in the ball-game. Ian Sangalang continue his best performance as he logged 29 points along with his nine rebounds.
Despite of Paul Lee struggle where he shoots 2-of-13 from the field, the Pambansang Manok able to complete the complete and beat the defending champion, San Miguel Beermen.
Although got lost and gave away its 20-point lead, coach Leo Austria still confident that his troops will be able to bounce back and considered their last game as a wake up call.
“It’s a best-of-seven series and there’s still a lot of time to bounce back,” said Austria.
“At pwedeng mag-serve ang talo na ito na wake-up call sa amin. At the very start naman, I really felt Magnolia won’t be an easy opponent. Media lang naman ang nagsasabi na this would be an easy series for us,” Austria added.
Leading candidate for Best Player of the Conference, June Mar Fajardo was again in his Kraken’s mentality as he registered 31 points and 18 rebounds. However, Fajardo struggled at the final canto as Magnolia unleashed their defensive strategies designed only for him.
“No way we can stop him with a single coverage, and our guys helped each other to have success towards the end,” said Victolero.