Hotshots, Beermen battle for pivotal Finals series lead

The PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup title showdown has evolved from a one-sided affair into an intense showdown, with Game 5 shaping up to be a fierce contest for the pivotal 3-2 series lead.

Magnolia and San Miguel find themselves back at square one, but the Hotshots have seized momentum and a psychological advantage following their gutsy victories in Games 3 and 4, which erased the Beermen’s initial 2-0 lead.

With the series now essentially reduced to a best-of-three, both teams are expected to fiercely clash at the Smart Araneta Coliseum at 6:15 p.m.

The Hotshots are likely to maintain their aggressive style of play, applying intense defensive pressure and capitalizing on fast break opportunities.

Meanwhile, the Beermen may need to make significant adjustments, particularly if June Mar Fajardo continues to be hampered by calf issues.

The Hotshots’ strategic shift has proven effective in limiting the Beermen to 80 and 85 points in the last two games, following San Miguel’s dominant victories of 103-95 and 109-85 in the first two matchups.

“Everybody embraced our defensive mindset, especially Tyler (Bey). Everything boils down to our defense. We limited them to under 90 points and that’s our goal. As long as the series becomes a defensive battle, we have a chance to win games,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.

The team’s unwavering determination is fueled by their past come-from-behind victories in best-of-seven series. They are now halfway to repeating this feat and are resolute in their efforts to do so.

Key players like Bey, Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Ian Sangalang, Calvin Abueva, Jio Jalalon, and Aris Dionisio led the charge in a 96-85 win in Game 4 following an 88-80 triumph in Game 3.

However, the Beermen aim for a comeback of their own. The roles have been reversed with the Hotshots hoping to snatch the series lead while the Beermen seek a change in fortune.

Both teams are gearing up for a crucial showdown as they vie for control in this titanic title dispute.

Coach Jorge Gallent and his Beermen are determined to regain their dominance and reclaim the lead from Victolero and his crew.

Back to top button