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Hotshots gun for equalizer


Game today:

(Mall of Asia Arena)

6:15 p.m. — Magnolia vs San Miguel


After getting torched in Game 1, Magnolia is tipped to make some adjustments to tie their Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven finals series against red-hot San Miguel Beer today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Game time is at 6:15 p.m. with the Hotshots determined to further tighten their defensive screws in Game 2 to tie their race-to-four finals showdown of the season-opening conference.

Hotshots coach Chito Victolero admitted that they were outgunned by the Beermen in Game 1, 103-95, so they have to work harder in Game 2 to level the series.

“This is a series, this is not a do-or-die game, so all we need to do is make adjustments,” Victolero, whose team is regarded as the league’s top defensive team after holding their opponents to just 87.9 points per game in the eliminations, said.

“We played very good defense in the second half and we’ll see what we can pick up from there ahead of Game 2.”

The Beermen’s firepower was on full display in the second quarter of Game 1 when they converted 11 of 18 field goals for a sizzling 61.1-percent shooting. They also knocked down six three-pointers to finish the quarter with 41 points that gave them a decisive lead entering the second half.

Still, the Hotshots played well in other departments.

They still had more assists, 26-21, more bench points, 53-27, and more points in the shaded lane, 52-12.

But defense has always been the weapon of choice for the Hotshots and they knew that they cannot engage the Beermen in a high-scoring game. At the start of the series, they gave up 16 more points from their usual points-allowed average.

For the Beermen, the streak continued, and with import Bennie Boatwright at the firing end, their offense was in high gear.

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