Apr 21, 2019

Magnolia eyes back-to-back wins to tie semis series vs. ROS

After the welcome breather comes the critical Game Four showdown between the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots.

The Elasto Painters seek to move within a win of the finals while the Hotshots try to send the series back to scratch in the fourth game of their 2019 PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven semifinal showdown at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Monday night.

The Hotshots have come back to life in pulling off a crucial 85-74 triumph Tuesday after dropping the first two games of the series.

And it could well be anybody's games if coach Chito Victolero and his troops can make it two in a row in Game Four.

"It's a very important game as we have a chance to tie the series. Our defense, effort and energy will be key factors," said Victolero.

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The Elasto Painters, however, are hardly fazed by their Game Three loss, believing all they need to do is to bring back the aggressiveness they showed in winning Games One and Two.

"We lost in the fourth quarter (in Game Three) because we lost steam. We're outhustled especially on the boards," said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia.

But it's a virtual new series with the Hotshots avoiding a 0-3 hole then getting the welcome rest.

"Both teams have got a good rest. It will help the players execute on both ends of the floor," said Victolero.

The Hotshots bench chieftain hopes they can be consistent on their defensive mindset as they go for a win that could completely change the complexion of the series
Magnolia got untracked the last time out behind a big finishing kick.
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Scoreless in the first half, Ian Sangalang came alive in the payoff period and proved to be the game-changer as the Hotshots foiled the E-Painters bid to zoom to a 3-0 series lead.

"Naniniwala kami isang game lang ang makuha namin dadating ang punto na makakabalik kami," said Sangalang, optimistic they're back in business.

Sangalang personally got the Hotshots back on track as he scored 12 of his 16 points in the last 10 minutes of the game, including six in their back-breaking 8-0 closing binge.

But Sangalang could be a marked man for the rest of the series.

"Probably, we should also find a way to limit Ian Sangalang," said Garcia.

The ROS coach is still very much positive on their campaign. "We're still confident, and we're going to bounce back," said Garcia.(SB)