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Antonio Hester shoulders blame for Magnolia loss to Meralco

Antonio Hester remained optimistic despite suffering his first loss with Magnolia as they bowed to Meralco in Sunday night’s PBA Governors’ Cup action.

The Hotshots absorbed a close 84-86 defeat that also marked the end of their four-game winning streak — then the second-longest active win run in the tilt next to TNT’s six — but the returning import is just looking at the positives.

“I’d rather take a loss now than in the playoffs,” he said moments after the match at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. “I’d rather lose now than not lose at all, and then get deep into the playoffs, and then something happens.”

Either you win or you learn, as they say, and that’s essentially how Hester is taking the defeat as he pointed out lessons that could all grow from.

One of those is being able to provide better help defense after he, in his own words, ‘over-helped’ and fouled KJ McDaniels, who then headed to the foul line for two and gave the Bolts an 85-84 lead with 31.2 seconds left.

“Like me, giving up is one of the biggest mistakes. We had them, over-helped in the baseline, and gave them two free throws. That was a big mess up on my behalf,” said Hester, who finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds.

“There were a lot of things we messed up but as an import, I have to take that and understand that I cannot make those mistakes moving forward.”

Hester just hopes that the rest of Magnolia can learn from the lessons this latest loss has given the Hotshots as they aim to bounce back and keep their Top Four aspirations alive — they’re now 4-4 after the defeat.

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“Live and learn. It’s not really a loss but a lesson. Hopefully, we learned our lesson tonight. And just moving forward from there,” he said.

“It’s just one game. We did fairly well, we can’t hold our head on it, Coach said we have until 12 o’clock to dwell on it. New day tomorrow.”

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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