Red-hot Magnolia shoots for a place in the finals yet again as it looks to finish off ailing Rain or Shine in their best-of-seven semifinal showdown in the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
Ahead 3-2 in the series, the Hotshots go for the closer and the jugular even as the Elasto Painters look to equalize in their Game 6 encounter at 7 p.m. today at the Ynares-Center in Antipolo City.
Should Magnolia win and clinch a place in the big stage, it will be its second straight finals’ appearance after it won the Governors’ Cup last season and also its second finals’ stint in a row for the All-Filipino conference.
Having racked up three wins in a row after a 0-2 start in the series, the Hotshots now have all the momentum and confidence to push more for another possible championship appearance.
However, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said emphatically that the job is far from done for the Hotshots.
“It’s not an easy series. It’s a grinder and our mission isn’t done yet,” said Victolero. “We still have to close out and win this series.”
Led by Mark Barroca, Magnolia’s balanced attack once again killed Rain or Shine’s hopes in Game 5 Wednesday night, 82-74.
After Magnolia stepped on the gas pedal starting in Game 3, Rain or Shine was not able to retaliate.
Still, it is not too late for the Painters as they can still force a deciding Game 7, which will be held on Sunday, if still necessary.
Over at the other side of the fence, five-peat seeking San Miguel Beer, ahead 3-2, is likewise looking to book a return trip to the finals with a goal to finish off Phoenix in Game 5 as of press time.