7 p.m. – Ginebra vs. Magnolia
DENIED the last time around, Magnolia Pambansang Manok and coach Chito Victolero hope to recover their swagger fast and finally clinch a finals berth when they meet Barangay Ginebra anew in Game 4 of the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Center n Antipolo City.
The Hotshots, who swept thei first two games, came tantalizingly close to advancing to the finals but lost 103-107 to the Gin Kings that enabled the reigning back-to-back champions to narrow the series deficit to 1-2.
Now, the Hotshots get another shot at making the finals and ending the GinKings’ storied two-year reign.
“As I’ve said before, we need to go through the eye of the needle to beat Ginebra,” said Victolero, who remained focus on the task at hand despite being ejected with 5:08 left for shoving the ball at a referee.
“Iyun naman ang talagang pinaguusapan namin even before the series, na this is not going to be an easy series,” added Victolero, who is looking to lead Magnolia to its first title since 2014 – the same year the team completed a grand slam.
Overall, the Hotshots are the third winningest team in the league with 13 titles in a tie with the legendary Crispa Redmanizers.
Victolero’s counterpart, Tim Cone, is confident the Gin Kings can beat the Hotshots twice.
“We are happy to be alive and kicking, but that’s not we are here for. If we are just going to win one game so we can take pride in that, that’s pogi points,” said Cone, who is hoping to lead the team to a third straight finals appearance in the same tournament they won in the last two seasons.
“We are here to win the series. I just hope the guys understand that and don’t rest on our laurels that they were able to pull out one game. We have to keep moving forward.”
Added Cone: “They beat us twice, we feel we can beat them twice.”
Meanwhile, the PBA will pay tribute to former PBA chairman Rey Marquez, who passed away last Sunday.
“We’re offering him the Final Buzzer,” said current commissioner Willie Marcial in a fitting tribute scheduled on Dec. 5.
Marcial said members of Marquez’s family and former colleagues have been invited to grace the occasion.
Marquez is the first PBA chairman from 1987 to 1990 before serving as the league’s fourth commissioner in 1990 to 1992. succeeding Rudy Salud.
Marquez is remembered in the PBA circle as a consummate professional executive who played a key role in growing the league in the 1980s and the 1990s.