STUNNED and battered in their last games, Magnolia and Meralco must now show their resilience in their match-up today in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City.
In the nightcap, Blackwater and Alaska square off, with each gunning for a second straight win.
There is a sense of urgency for Magnolia and Meralco, currently in a logjam for sixth with Alaska and idle San Miguel Beer.
Causing the drop was the Hotshots’ shock 81-87 loss to the previously winless Aces last Saturday and the Bolts’ 91-105 beatdown from Ginebra just last Sunday.
“Kailangan lang siguro i-rediscover namin kung ano ang ginawa namin in our first game,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero, referring to his side’s 93-81 victory over NLEX.
“Credit sa Alaska, they were really prepared for us and we couldn’t match their intensity, lalo na sa endgame,” he added. “But we must do a better job, lalo na against Meralco na gusto ring maka-bounce back.”
Alaska’s breakthrough win against a heavily-favored team reinforced Blackwater coach Nash Racela’s belief that the Aces are a team to be reckoned with.
“Actually, I’ve been talking to some coaches and pareho naman assessment namin,” related Racela.
“Alaska is really one of those teams na really performing very well before the pandemic and then pagpasok dito sa bubble isa sila sa mga most conditioned teams, of course, alongside TNT,” added Racela. “It will be tough playing them, especially coming off their first win.”
Blackwater has its own agenda, which is to follow up its own impressive 98-88 win over NLEX also last Saturday, the Elite’s second in three games.
“It will take us playing together again para to have a good chance tomorrow,” said Racela.