Beermen prepared to match Hotshots’ intensity in attempt to even series

San Miguel, Magnolia clash in Game 2 of PBA finals

MANILA, Philippines — The San Miguel Beermen are bracing for a “strong” comeback by the Magnolia Hotshots, head coach Jorge Gallent said, as they will try to take a 2-0 series lead in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals Sunday night.

The red-hot Beermen, who won their last 10 games, will try to put the Hotshots in a 0-2 hole.

Gallent and San Miguel, however, underscored just how dangerous Magnolia is especially with their backs against the wall.

“I am sure they’re gonna come out strong [in Game 2]. We have to match their intensity and energy,” the coach told reporters after their 103-95 win Friday.

In Game 1, the Beermen led by as much as 20 points in the fourth quarter, but the deficit fell to just five with a little over a minute left.

In tonight’s Game 2, San Miguel will try to maintain composure against Magnolia, which at one point of the season was undefeated and finished on top of the standings.

“In the last three minutes of the [first] game, they just poured their energy and from an 18-point lead, it just went down to five. That was all energy and us relaxing for the last minutes,” Gallent said.

“When you play a tough team like Magnolia, you will have to play 48 minutes of basketball because if you don’t play 48 minutes, this is what’s going to happen,” he added.

“I mean, they will have a run and it’s just good that we just didn’t panic. That’s the main thing. The players were composed and this bunch of players know how to win so lucky for me.”

For his part, Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero remains positive of the Hotshots’ chances despite dropping Game 1.

“We will look at what we can adjust to and what went wrong,” the mentor said after the game.

“But, we’re still positive because this is a series. This is not a do-or-die game. We have to adjust and look at the mistakes we did.”

Game 2 tip-off is at 6:15 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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