The Hotshots hit a good rhythm at the start of the fourth quarter and sustained the momentum to the finish to steal Game One of the best-of-seven series.
Magnolia also enjoyed a big break on a ref’s call in the closing seconds, helping the Hotshots through for the crucial head start in the race-to-four-games title playoff.
“Credit to the players, down by 20 but they didn’t give up. That’s the character na nabuo siguro namin from previous playoffs,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
“And I kept insisting we wanted a grind-out game. They (the Beermen) exploded for 63 points in the first half, at hindi yon ang laro namin. I told the guys we would need to limit them to 20 per quarter in the second half, and were able to do it on team effort,” Victolero also said. “Hopefully, ma-sustain namin in the next game.”
Game Two is at 6:30 p.m. Sunday over at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.