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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Hotshots seek equalizer, Beermen gun for 3-1 lead

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It’s still going to be a tough battle for the Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots in their best-of-seven finals’ showdown with the San Miguel Beermen in the 48th Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Hotshots will have to repeat what they did in Game 3 and do a better job in limiting the scoring juggernaut of the Beermen in the fourth game to be able to catch up with their foes.

“Isa pa lang ang panalo namin. We have nothing to celebrate. We need to rest and recover,” said Hotshots’ coach Chito Victolero after they bounced back from two straight losses to the Beermen in the finals.

Victolero discussed their situation after they won the third game, an 88-80 triumph on Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Hotshots were able to limit the Beermen to 80 points, while they were on target with their outside shooting in the fourth quarter.

The Hotshots may have taken Game 3, but the Beermen still leads the series at 2-1 going into Game 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum.

Victolero said their two-day rest before their Game 3 encounter gave them the chance to break the Beermen’s 11-game winning streak.

And he gave credit to the scoring punch of Aries Dionisio and Paul Lee in the last 6:53 of the final period allowing the Hotshots to move away by 14, 76-62.

“They did a good job in our offense, especially Aries Dionisio,” said Victolero.

The Hotshots now have a chance to equalize in their next encounter, but if not, the Beermen will take a 3-1 lead in the series and move a win closer to the crown.

In Game 3, Andy Barroca showed the way with 20 points for the Hotshots, who took the lead as early as the first period.

The Hotshots limited the Beermen to 39 points in the first half for a 42-39 edge — San Miguel’s lowest halftime output since December.

Lee sank 12 points, while Tyler Bey, Ian Sangalang and Dionisio added 11 apiece, and Jio Jalalon made 10 for the Hotshots.

Bennie Boatwright unloaded 27 points for the Beerman, but was held to three in the third period, as they trailed, 58-63, before the start of the fourth.

The Beermen earlier took a 2-0 lead in the finals’ series following a 103-93 win in Game 1 and a 109-95 beating of the Hotshots in Game 2.

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