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Magnolia def San Miguel, 96-85 [PBA S48 Comm’s Cup Finals G4 | Feb. 9, 2024]

The burden of adjustment now falls on San Miguel following Magnolia’s victory in Game 3 that cut the Beermen’s lead to 2-1 in the 2023-’24 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

The Hotshots finally cracked the code to the Beermen’s potent offense, leaving San Miguel searching for weaknesses in Magnolia’s staunch defense leading into Game 4 on Friday.

Despite trailing 1-2, coach Chito Victolero is buoyed by the morale-boosting Game 3 triumph, Magnolia’s first win after two lopsided losses.

“Isa palang panalo namin. We have nothing to celebrate. We’re down in the series, we just need to rest and recover and prepare for Game 4,” said Victolero.

“We’re very consistent on our defense. We are No. 1 on defense in the whole conference pero di namin nagawa nung Game 1 and 2. We allowed them to score the way they want,” he added.

Still, the Hotshots expect a forceful bounce-back from the Beermen, who suffered their first defeat in months.

CJ Perez, Bennie Boatwright and June Mar Fajardo will spearhead San Miguel’s effort to regain control of the series with a 3-1 lead.

“Our goal is to tie the series but again it’s very hard. We know that this is a powerhouse team and we also expect them to bounce back hard sabi ko nga wala pa naman kaming nachieve dito. We just only won one game,” said Victolero.

Magnolia will counter by replicating their smothering defensive performance from Game 3, led by import Tyler Bey’s blanket coverage of Boatwright.

Mark Barroca will pace a balanced Magnolia offense alongside Ian Sangalang, Calvin Abueva and Jio Jalalon.

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