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PBA Finals Game 1 all set this evening

by Bryan Gadingan

Recently updated on February 4, 2024 07:30 am

THIS evening, the 48th Season of Philippine Basketball Association’s Commissioner’s Cup will feature a tough matchup between sister companies Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots and San Miguel Beermen.

The top-seeded Magnolia will face No. 2 San Miguel Beer in the best-of-seven finals for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title, which begin tonight at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Chicken Timplados Hotshots defeated high-performing Phoenix in four games in their best-of-five semi-final series, while the Beermen swept Barangay Ginebra in the other semi-final matchup.

San Miguel took care of business and finished their match against Ginebra last Sunday, giving them a six-day break. Meanwhile, Phoenix proceeded on an incredible run, extending Magnolia to a Game 4 and finally winning it last Wednesday.

The Hotshots will enter the Finals after only one day off, making them slightly battle-weary once they face the Beermen this evening.

Magnolia has not won a title since the 2018 Governors’ Cup, when head coach Chito Victolero won his first and only trophy. Victolero will be put to a test again, since San Miguel is just as deep, if not deeper than the present lineup of the Hotshots.

“We will try to think of what we need to do with this powerhouse team because as what coach Jorge has said, ‘death 15’. We’re already struggling playing their ‘death 5,’ how much more ‘death 15?” Victolero asked.

However, Victolero believes that the Hotshots’ only advantage in this match will be their defensive tenacity.

“We’re a family of defense. We’re one in defense, we stay with that chemistry, we stay with that family and we believe we have a chance if we stay together,” Victolero added.

A well-rested San Miguel that relies on Bennie Boatwright and June Mar Fajardo will be a challenge, even if Terrence Romeo is unavailable.

The Beermen’s heavy lineup will be preceded by Gilas Pilipinas stalwarts CJ Perez, Chris Ross, and Marcio Lassiter, as well as Jeron Teng, Don Trollano, and Jericho Cruz.

Magnolia will also boast experienced Mark Barroca, Paul Lee, and Calvin Abueva. With the Beerman’s formidable frontcourt, the Hotshots will aim to match it with imports Tyler Bey, James Laput, Abu Tratter, and Ian Sangalang.

It will be an incredible sight to see both of these teams compete for pride and glory. San Miguel’s offense will be tested against Magnolia’s defense. The game will tip off at 7:30pm in the MOA Arena, Pasay City. 



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