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Magnolia def San Miguel, 88-80 [PBA S48 Comm’s Cup Finals Game 3 | Feb. 7, 2024]

Magnolia rediscovered the form that made it the elims top notcher, defending very well and fighting hard every inch of the way to stop San Miguel Beer on its tracks with an 88-80 victory in Game 3 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

From a two-day breather, the Hotshots returned as the defensive team that they are, throwing the Beermen out of their comfort zone and holding them to their conference lowest output.

“The two-day rest gave us a good chance to win. Medyo naka-recover ang body at nakabalik kami to play with energy,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero of the key as they avoided falling to a 0-3 hole in the race-to-four series.

“No excuses, but we had a hard time doing our defensive scheme (in the first two games). They are just humans at nakakaramdam ng pagod. Pero yung two-day rest really gave us a good chance in this game. Naipakita namin ang aming defensive mentality. Yun naman yon, kasi every time umiskor sila ng 100 points, mahirap silang talunin,” Victolero added.

At 1-2, Victolero said the biggest thing for them is to rest and recover as they seek to equalize in Game 4 Friday also at the Big Dome.

“This is just one win. Wala pa kaming na-achieve,” he said.

Tyler Bey and his teammates threw a defensive blanket as they snapped the Beermen’s 11-game winning streak.

Curiously, the Beermen suffered their last defeat also at the hands of the Hotshots, 94-90, back in the elims. And it was SMB’s previous conference low.

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