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Victolero shrugs off rare low-scoring win by Star

Marc Pingris, shown here trying to get past Aljon Mariano, was Star's defensive anchor anew with 12 rebounds, three blocks, and three steals.
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—A far cry from its last five wins where the team scored 90 or more and blasted its opponents by double digits, Star survived a down-the-wire low-scoring game against Ginebra on Thursday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

For Coach Chito Victolero, as long as the Hotshots' defense is clicking and they are winning, he is fine with it.

"I told them, 'Kaya mataas ang score natin because of our defense,'" he told the media after the game.

He, however, later said that he had to remind his players of their defensive mantra after a slow first quarter.

"In the first quarter, [defense was] the problem, especially when everybody wanted to play offense. I told them, 'Di tayo mananalo dito. We need to play defense,'" Victolero continued.

The Hotshots responded well, forcing the Barangay to 24 errors, 14 of which are unforced including LA Tenorio's late fumble with 15 seconds left.

"Good thing they readjusted with Ginebra's offense," Victolero commented on the players' response.

However, he insisted that there is nothing to celebrate yet.

"We need to work hard again. We can't celebrate because it's just Game 1," he further said.

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