Chito Victolero after another runner-up finish: “We’ll keep on trying, hindi kami magsasawa”

The Philippine Cup and the Magnolia Hotshots are seemingly in a bitter relationship for the last couple of years in the PBA.

Magnolia’s five-game Finals loss to the TNT Tropang Giga marked the third time in four years that the Hotshots finished as the runner-up in the Philippine Cup but coach Chito Victolero insisted that this will only motivate his squad to keep going and get the job done eventually.

“We’ll keep on trying,” Victolero said. “Hindi kami magsasawa doon. The main goal talaga is to win the championship.”

In the hopes of turning around a franchise who hasn’t win an All-Filipino title in seven years, the Magnolia Hotshots took a massive risk in trading for the enigmatic yet controversial superstar Calvin Abueva during the offseason.

The move provided positive results for Magnolia which earned the third seed with a 8-3 record and moved past the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Meralco Bolts en route to the finals.

However, injuries to superstars Ian Sangalang, Paul Lee, and Mark Barroca proved too much to handle as they could not keep up to the offensive firepower of TNT particularly Finals MVP Mikey Williams.

The Fil-am rookie averaged a sensational 27.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in the championship series.

“Maybe it’s not our time pa,” Victolero stressed out. “Hopefully, next time.”

Despite the runner-up finish, the Hotshots head tactician praised his players for what they achieved in recent times and vowed that they will finally “get over the hump.”

“Very proud ako sa na-achieve namin, dahil nagagawa namin to be consistent going to the finals, medyo kapos nga lang,” Victolero admitted.

“We’re fighting every time,” he added. “Hindi lang kami maka-get over the hump.”

Victolero, a former KIA head coach, last led Magnolia to a championship during the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup title after beating the Alaska Aces in six games.

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