The Magnolia Hotshots expect another intense encounter with the Meralco Bolts in Game 2 of their best-of-seven semifinal duel Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
Following an 88-79 win in Game 1 of the semifinals last Sunday, the Hotshots will have the momentum when they collide with the Bolts at 6 p.m. at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
“It’s only the start of the series. You saw how physical and emotional it got today. But at least we got Game 1,” said Hotshots’ coach Chito Victolero.
The Hotshots’ coach noted that Magnolia was able to control most of the first half before they hung on to a 47-40 lead at halftime.
Meralco pushed ahead behind Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge, who scored half of the Bolts’ 24 points in the third.
By then, one of their main men Calvin Abueva was in foul trouble, picking up his fifth personal with under two minutes left to go in the third.
But Ian Sangalang and foul-troubled Abueva asserted themselves in the last 12 minutes to carry the Hotshots home.
Earlier at 3 p.m. is the Game 2 semis showdown between TNT Tropang Giga and San Miguel Beer.
The Tropang Giga, without big man Kelly Williams, won the semis opener with an 89-88 squeaker last Sunday.