PBA: Meralco, Magnolia clash for last ticket to finals

From the PBA Facebook page
From the PBA Facebook page

Magnolia and Meralco are set to collide in a series-deciding Game 5 in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday for a chance to face Barangay Ginebra in the finals.

If Meralco wins, the Bolts will get a fourth chance in claiming the Governors’ Cup title against their perennial rivals.

If the Hotshots go through, then it will become a Manila Clasico series.

Tip-off is at 6 p.m. at Araneta Coliseum.

“We’re ready, physically and mentally, for Game 5,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero in the PBA website.
“It’s a do-or-die, so we expect a very physical game. We just have to have the proper mindset and mental toughness on both ends if we want to succeed.”

Meralco coach Norman Black said his squad must match Magnolia’s energy.

“They played with a lot more energy than us,” he said while citing Magnolia’s 57-40 edge in rebounding last Wednesday.

“The fact that they dominated the rebounds, really got a lot of offensive rebounds off of us, showed they were very aggressive. We’ve been doing a really good job of rebounding in this conference but in Game 4, we got dominated on the boards and that’s something we have to fix before Friday.”

Both teams are also dealing with similar problems heading into Game 5. 

Meralco’s Chris Banchero, a factor in the Bolts’ Game 3 win, is being limited by back spasm and chest issues.

“I’m hoping that Thursday’s break will give him a chance to heal up and be able to come back on Friday,” said Black.

Magnolia, on the other hand, has Paul Lee hobbling with an ankle sprain. 

“Malaking bagay para sa amin si Paul. Sana maka-rekober siya in time for Friday,” said Victolero.

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