PBA: Magnolia looks to push Alaska to the brink

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 12 2018 07:31 AM

Mark Barroca and the Magnolia Hotshots will try to take one more step towards the PBA title in Game 4. Josh Albelda, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – After suffering a lopsided loss in Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup finals, the Magnolia Hotshots are eager to bounce back in Game 4 and take another step towards the championship.

Game 4 of the best-of-7 series is set for Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the Araneta Coliseum.

Magnolia had a chance to send Alaska to the brink last Sunday, when they played Game 3 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. However, it was the Aces that emerged triumphant, riding a 36-point outing by import Mike Harris to cruise to a 100-71 win.

That game saw the Hotshots struggle on both ends of the floor, with import Romeo Travis limited to just 18 points. None of either team's starters played in the final quarter with Alaska already assured of victory.

Still, Magnolia has a 2-1 lead in the series and the Hotshots are determined to take win No. 3 on Wednesday.

"I think it's a dogfight again," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.

"I think it's (going to be) a grind-out game," he added. "We will prepare hard for the game."

Victolero expects both Travis and Jio Jalalon to be available for the game, after both were subbed out from Game 3 after taking hard falls. Travis twisted his ankle, while Jalalon appeared to hit his head on the court.

"They're okay," the coach said of his players.

Meanwhile, Alaska coach Alex Compton warned that Game 4 is unlikely to play out like Game 3 did -- that is, he is not expecting a blowout contest.

"They're too good, too well-coached, they're too talented, they have too much experience," he said of Magnolia.

"I expect Game 4 to be a lot more like Game 2, personally," he added.

Magnolia took the series opener, 100-84, then slipped past the Aces in Game 2, 77-71, after limiting Alaska to just six points in the final quarter.

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