EXACTLY a week before Christmas, Magnolia Pambansang Manok is looking to get the best gift it could get this time of the year – the PBA Governors’ Cup title.
Alaska Milk, however, is hoping to play the Grinch who will steal Christmas from Magnolia.
Up 3-2 in the scheduled best-if-seven title series, the Hotshots will try to finish off the Aces when they collide in what could be another exciting Game 6 today at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
A win by the Hotshots will give them the coveted title in this season-ending, import-flavored conference.today.
“Ito na siguro ang pinaka-magandang regalong pwede namin ibigay sa sarili namin ngayong magpa-Pasko,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
Victolero said the opportunity to beat the Aces again and finally nail the elusive title will be foremost in their minds today.
“The opportunity is there. So, susubukan na naming tapusin ito ang makuha ang korona,” added Victolero, who also stands to achieve a milestone in his coaching career in the pro league.
Another win by the Hotshots over the Aces today will enable them to end a long four-year title drought, or since winning Grand Slam in 2014 under coach Tim Cone.
At the same time, the Hotshots will join the Aces as the second winningest teams in Asia’s first play forpay league with 14 titles , behind only the 25 of San Miguel Beer.
For Victolero, it will only be his first taste of championship in his coaching stint with the Hotshots spanning two years already, or since replacing Jason Webb in October 2016.
With the series tied at 2-2 after four highly-physical games, the Hotshots took control by beating the Aces, 79-78, in Game 5 at the Arenata Coliseum. last Friday.
The game provided plenty of highlight plays, especially in a crucial stretch of the game.
And fittingly, Paul Lee -- the “Best Player of the Conference -- made the biggest play as he grabbed the loose ball and delivered the game- winner that helped the Hotshots escape with the heart-stopping victory.
Will it be a merry Chirstmas for the Hotshots?.
“Game Seven? We’ll certainly try to do it,” said Alaska coach Alex Compton.
The Aces can surely do it.
They lost the first two games but came back strong in the next two outings and came close to another win before Lee came to the Hotshots’ rescue.
The Aces have never won a title for five years already or since a team handled by Luigi Trillo swept Barangay Ginebra in the best-of-five series for Commissioner’s Cup in 2013.
Both teams received a much-needed break when the best-of-seven finals took a four-day breather to give way to the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft at Robinsons Place Manila last Sunday.