2-0 lead is not safe – Chito

Tempo - - Front Page - By JONAS TERRADO

Game To­day (Ynares Cen­ter, An­tipolo City) 6:30 p.m. – Alaska vs Magnolia Se­ries Sum­mary: Game 1 – Magnolia 100, Alaska 84 Game 2 – Magnolia 77, Alaska 71 (Magnolia leads se­ries 2-0)

Noth­ing is set in stone as far as coach Chito Victolero is con­cerned when Magnolia goes for a com­mand­ing 3-0 lead against Alaska tonight in the PBA Gov­er­nors’ Cup Fi­nals at the Ynares Cen­ter in An­tipolo City.

Victolero urged his play­ers to re­main sharp ahead of the 6:30 p.m. clash af­ter the Hot­shots claimed Fri­day’s Game 2, 77-71, be­hind a de­fense that forced the Aces com­mit mis­takes in the dy­ing min­utes.

“We don’t think that we’re up or we’re down,” Victolero said. “The im­por­tant thing is that we have the proper mind­set and that we are on the same page.

“There’s no rea­son for us to cel­e­brate. This is a best-of-seven se­ries and it’s not yet over,” added Victolero, who is two wins shy of claim­ing his first cham­pi­onship as a coach.

Aces coun­ter­part Alex Comp­ton is also singing the same tune de­spite see­ing his play­ers waste a golden chance of split­ting the first two games of the ti­tle show­down.

But Comp­ton said that lesser turnovers will ben­e­fit Alaska’s chances of turn­ing things around af­ter com­mit­ting a total of 51 in the first two games.

“That’s the prime story of the first two games. We just gotta be bet­ter,” said Comp­ton.

Victolero is cau­tious of its twogame ad­van­tage, es­pe­cially af­ter blow­ing the same lead in last year's Philip­pine Cup semi­fi­nal se­ries against Barangay Gine­bra San Miguel.

The Hot­shots took the first two games but al­lowed the Kings to charge back and win the se­ries in seven.

“We ex­pe­ri­enced that be­fore in the Philip­pine Cup,” said Victolero. “We have to learn from that ex­pe­ri­ence, and we’re tak­ing it one game at a time.”

Spot­light will be on Magnolia sopho­more Jio Jalalon, who hero­ics has en­abled the Hot­shots to move closer to­ward their first PBA cham­pi­onship since com­plet­ing a Grand Slam in 2014.

Jalalon bucked a slug­gish Game 2 to score a go-ahead jumper that put Magnolia ahead 73-71 with 2:40 re­main­ing be­fore con­spir­ing with his team­mates to seal the vic­tory in the ugli­est of ways as Alaska failed to score the rest of the way.

The Aces, on the other hand, lamented on their fail­ure to score in the game’s fi­nal 4:55.

Alaska import Mike Har­ris, how­ever, be­lieves a vic­tory will change the com­plex­ion of the se­ries.

“All we need to do is win one. (That) changes the whole thing,” said Har­ris.

Leonelle Delu­vio) (Rio

Act­ing Ed­i­tor: REY C. LACHICA THAT’S MINE: Magnolia’s Mark Bar­roca looks at the ball af­ter Alaska’s Chris Banchero fum­bles dur­ing Game 2 of their PBA Gov­er­nors' Cup Fi­nals at Smart Araneta Coli­seum. The Magnolia Hot­shots won, 77-71, to take a 2-1 lead.

VICTOLERO

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