PBA: Magnolia determined to close out Meralco in Game 5


Posted at Oct 12 2021 06:51 PM


Magnolia will try to close the show on Meralco in Game 5 with hopes of moving forward to the PBA Philippine Cup finals.

But the Hotshots, who are holding a 3-1 series lead against the Bolts, admitted it is easier said than done.

"Based on my experience, mahirap mag-close ng series, sobrang mahirap," Mark Barroca told the PBA website

"So kung ano 'yung effort na ibinigay namin (in Game 4) kailangan pa naming i-triple para makuha. Kasi hindi ibibigay iyan eh. Kung kami nasa sitwasyon nila, back-to-the-wall, iyun talaga gagawin namin." 

Magnolia beat Meralco, 81-69, in Game 4 last Sunday. The Hotshots now have three chances -- starting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday -- of returning to the conference finals.

Magnolia is statistically favored to take the win.

PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III said that 52 out of the total 56 teams that have taken such a lead in a best-of-seven series went on to win. Twenty-seven of those teams sealed the series in Game 5.

But Barroca anticipates Meralco to prevent that from happening.

"Kasi nga, Meralco is more on effort sila, eh. So tatapatan namin, hindi lang tatapatan i-triple pa kasi mahirap talagang mag-close ng series."

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero agreed. 

"Tama si Mark. It's hard to close a series kasi nga the effort and aggressiveness nung kabilang team medyo tataas talaga iyon," he said.

"We have to expect more effort from Meralco also. We need to do multiple effort again. Stay aggressive. We have to stay focused pa rin."

Expected to return on Wednesday is Meralco's Raymond Almazan, who had to be rested for two games after spraining his ankle in Game 2.