The Magnolia Hotshots have gotten the better end of the deal against Manila Clasico rival Brgy. Ginebra during the two teams’ last two playoff clashes.
While the Gin Kings have handily beaten the Hotshots in the elimination round of the past two conferences, it was the other way around come playoff time.
During the 2018 Governor’s Cup, the Hotshots dethroned the three-peat seeking Gin Kings by way of a 3-1 spanking in the semifinal round. Magnolia eventually won the title over conference Best Import Mike Harris and the Alaska Aces, 4-2.
And then just last Philippine Cup, they met again in the playoffs but this time in the quarterfinals. Brgy. Ginebra won the first game but Magnolia came back and won the next two to advance to the next round. The Hotshots eventually settled for 2nd place behind perennial titlists San Miguel.
This marks the third consecutive time there will be a Manila Clasico series in the PBA playoffs.
Brgy. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone is obviously looking for a different ending this time around.
“They handled us the last two times we played in the playoffs. We beat them in the eliminations and then they beat us in the playoffs. It’s the same thing. We beat them in the eliminations and we are facing them in the playoffs. We are hoping for a different story,” said the league’s winningest mentor with a record 21 titles tucked under his belt.
“It’s the playoffs and ‘Manila Clasico’ is always times two in terms of motivation.”
Game 1 of the best-of-three quarterfinal series is on Saturday, July 20, 6:45pm at the MOA Arena in Pasay Coty.