WITH an even playing field, Magnolia and NLEX know how pivotal every edge is in their best-of-seven semifinal series as they both go for a critical lead in the resumption of the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup playoffs.
Deadlocked at 1-1, the pivotal Game 3 is scheduled today at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After dropping Game 1 in heartbreaking fashion, the Hotshots regrouped and used their experience to equalize and avoid a scary hole.
Behind star guard Paul Lee’s offensive exploits, Star made sure it had no meltdown as it took Game 2 decisively last Monday night, 99-84.
At his best, Lee dropped 27 markers to ensure his team’s victory.
Despite being hot offensively the last time out, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero insisted that the key for his team to grab its first series lead is its play on the other side of the floor.
“We’ve made adjustments and we now need to continue using our strength which is defense,” said Victolero.
True enough, NLEX struggled shooting the ball the other night as its offense was mostly in disarray, no thanks to Magnolia’s defense.
The Road Warriors are now looking to recapture their form in hopes to once again gain the upperhand.
The Hotshots will have to carry their fight on without veteran Marc Pingris, who will now miss the rest of the season.
Pingris injured his knee late in Game 1 and after an MRI, it was revealed that he tore his ACL, prompting him to miss six to eight months of action.