Tyler Bey got to see the fiercer side of Chito Victolero — and that was the only push he needed to spell the difference for Magnolia’s come-from-behind win over Barangay Ginebra in Sunday night’s Manila Clasico affair.
The 25-year-old finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds as he took over in the fourth to lead the Hotshots to the 93-91 result, making them the lone unbeaten team in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup yet at 4-0.
All that was because of the earful he and the rest of the Hotshots received from the usually mild-mannered bench tactician in the dugout at the half.
“I’ve never seen Coach Chito like that, so for me, I felt it. I felt the energy,” said Bey during the postgame presser at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Victolero’s frustration came from their dismal first-half showing, where the reigning champions dictated the pace and led by as much as 26 during the second period before entering the break with a 60-35 advantage.
“At halftime, I kept on reminding them, actually shouting at them about how they outworked us in the first half, outhustled us in the first half, and [how] they bullied us in the first half,” said the champion mentor.
“I challenged these guys to play the Magnolia Hotshots basketball system, which is sacrificing, and ball movement, and our defensive mindset. Because they scored 60 points in the first half, and that’s not our system.”
But Victolero would eventually sing praises to his wards for responding to his call, especially Bey and Jio Jalalon. The two joined hands to slowly chip away the deficit in the third, where Jalalon scored nine of his 15 points.
Bey would then make the deciding chapter his show, scoring 16 of the Hotshots’ last 23 points of the game, including 12 consecutive.
“I felt the passion, I felt how bad he wanted it,” said the young import, still referring to Victolero’s address to the team during halftime.
“We all wanted it. After that, it was just on us. We are the players on the court, he’s the coach, so we do what we have to do,” he added.
The victory and the way Magnolia earned it makes Bey’s first-ever experience of the famed Manila Clasico all the more memorable for him.
“All I could really see was that it was fun,” he said.
“We came back, we did our job. Like Coach said, we were disciplined. We got tested. It was just fun.”