(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
Alvin Patrimonio thinks Hotshots are very much in condition to win their first championship since 2014.
Despite missing key players to injuries over the course of the PBA Philippine Cup, despite having a consistent star with Paul Lee struggling a handful times, and despite falling just short of winning against the San Miguel Beermen, guess what, ladies and gentlemen, the Magnolia Hotshots are very much in contention for a top 2 finish in the elimination rounds that will give them a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. Assuming that the Hotshots get to continue their streak of consistently being in the semifinals, they are just one step away from returning to the PBA Finals. But, can they finally break their series of semifinal exits?
Yes. In fact, this Magnolia Hotshots squad has been long ripe for another championship. That is according to team manager and PBA legend, Alvin Patrimonio. The 4-time league MVP issued the statement following the crucial victory by Magnolia over the Global Port Batang Pier to enhance their chances of sealing a sit in the top 2 of the standings.
Question: Is the Captain right after all?
It depends on two things:
- Health- One of the many reasons why Magnolia failed to make it past the semifinals during the last 3 conferences was the fact that they were missing many of their key players due to injury. In fact, Paul Lee missed the latter parts of Magnolia's semifinal series against the Meralco Bolts in the last Governors' Cup where the Bolts swept the series. And having everyone around and healthy might just be they to success for the Hotshots. During the earlier parts of the Philippine Cup, Jio Jalalon, Marc Pingris, and Rafi Reavis all missed a few games due various to health issues. If the Hotshots could say together in the long run without getting hurt, it will be easier for them to jell and build more chemistry between players.
- Consistency- All conference long, the Hotshots were consistent and NOT. Before their victory against the Batang Pier, the Hotshots were on a 2-game losing streak and even during the game against Global Port, they were down by double digits during the early parts of the game and if not to a balanced offensive attack in the second half, things would have been worse for Chito Victolero and company. Consistency is definitely one of the major keys for Magnolia to be able to win their first championship since Tim Cone guided them to a Grand Slam during the 2013-2014 season.
Can the Magnolia Hotshots make it back to the Finals? It depends on who they will have on their team and who they will be playing against in the semifinals. The championship? Everything is possible especially beating the Beermen.