Antonio Hester has his eyes set only on winning and it won’t matter who will be standing on his path, not even some of his old friends.
That particularly rang true when he carried Magnolia on his back and spearheaded a last-ditch effort in regulation before eventually completing the comeback in overtime against his former team Terrafirma.
Hester first played for the Dyip last season before eventually being called up by the Hotshots to replace original choice Eric McCree and help turn things around for Magnolia which started the conference flat with a 0-3 record.
“This is a business, man. When we step into those four lines, I don’t know you. You don’t have this jersey on, I don’t know you. You don’t have a Magnolia jersey on, you’re not my brother. Just for the time being. After the game, yea. But during the game, it’s all about us,” said Hester.
The burly Magnolia import posted 40 points and 17 rebounds to steer his team to a 121-115 victory in overtime while also eliminating Terrafirma from playoff contention in the process.
Hester, though, admitted he enjoyed playing against his old brothers, bringing back the memories playing with the Dyip.
“When I was with Terrafirma, it was like that in practice sometimes. We go at it in practice, you know, tryna push each other around so I’m used to it it’s all part of the game,” he said.
Fighting for its dear life, Terrafirma surely gave Magnolia a run for its money and was actually poised to the big win and ending its 14-game losing streak against the Hotshots after taking a commanding 15-point lead, 102-87, with less than five minutes left in the contest.
The Hotshots battled back with Hester scoring the last four points to send the game to the extra period where Magnolia’s veteran poise ultimately showed up to put the game away.
“Taking it one possession at a time, like we always talked about Just weathering the storm, standing together, making sure that we got each other’s back the whole time. That’s pretty much it. Just us being together,” said Hester
“We had a bad game and we were down by 10, I think in the last two minutes. Good thing we have the big guy here and then our guards are typing to pressure their guards and nakakuha kjami ng turnovers,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.
“Sabi ko sa kanila that is the chance. We have to grab that chance binigay na sa amin kung di pa namin iyon kukuhain, mahihirapan kami. They are veteran enough to know the situation and I think we executed very well in the last five minutes,” added the champion coach.