Coach Chito Victolero hopes the Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots will come in with fresher legs in time for Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup semis against TNT Tropang GIGA on Friday.
The battle-weary Hotshots bowed to the Tropang Giga, 108-96, in Game 1 and Victolero wants to avoid his team getting into a deeper hole.
The Hotshots coach believes the team will be more competitive against once they fully recover from their intense quarterfinal series with NLEX.
Game 2 is set at 6 p.m. Friday at Araneta Coliseum.
"We need to have our legs back para kahit papaano maka-compete kami," said Victolero.
"We had a hard time, of course, coming off a grueling series against NLEX. That is also a factor pero ayaw naming gawing excuse iyon. Kasi we know na sunod-sunod games dito sa playoffs. We have to set that aside and improve our mindset na, eto na iyon, eh."
Victolero said Magnolia only had three days' rest before jousting with the TNT. They went the full route in their best-of-3 quarterfinal series against NLEX that only only in a 112-106 overtime win.
Tropang Giga, on the other hand, had the benefit of a full week's rest.
"May factor na siguro na medyo pagod, kasi nga 'yung core ng team have played heavy minutes, lalo na sa quarterfinals. Kita naman na a little bit slow reaction sa depensa. Then sa rebounding medyo late kami," said Victolero.
"Adjustment is minimal, mas importante recovery kaya 'yung mga PTs (physical therapists), masahista ang important sa amin ngayon. Kasi we need those legs para maibalik namin 'yung aming defensive intensity."