Unbeaten Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok shoots for its fourth straight victory when they meet winless Terrafirma as action continues in the 46th PBA Season Philippine Cup Friday, July 30 at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
Magnolia is coming off an inspiring 89-79 win against defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel last Sunday that improved its league-best card of 3-0 in the standings.
Hotshots coach Chito Victolero said the game against the Kings was a good gauge of where they are now as a team, although he reminded his players that it’s all about being consistent.
“It’s a testament of our character. It’s also a good test for us because after kami manalo sa first to games, malaking panalo yung nakuha naming uli against an elite team in Ginebra,” said Victolero.
“Kumbaga yung first quarter naming sa conference na ‘to masasabi ko so far so good… pero ang reminder ko sa buong team dapat maging consistent kami, mas mag-improve pa kami. Sabi ko sa mga players wala naman nagcha-champion ng 3-0 kaya ready lang kami.”
Magnolia takes on Terrafirma at 12:30 p.m.
In their last game, Paul Lee led the Hotshots with 22 points, while Ian Sangalang and Mark Barroca added 17 and points, respectively. New recruit Calvin Abueva had 15 points off the bench for Magnolia.
Terrafirma, on the other hand, dropped to 0-2 following a 108-94 defeat to NLEX last Sunday.
Victolero said that just like in their Ginebra game, they expect a tough encounter against Dyip, which has the league’s top picks the last two years in Joshua Munzon (2021) and Roosevelt Adams (2019).
“It’s all about having the proper mindset. We treat this game like the first three games… kung ano ang mindset namin sa last game versus Ginebra ganun pa din sa game against Terrafirma,” said Victolero.
“May advantage kami siguro ng konti sa experience, but in terms of talent meron naman ang Terrafirma. Ang maganda lang din sa team namin so far is maganda ang chemistry ngayon and alam ng bawat players ang role nila sa team.”
Meanwhile, TNT rookie Mikey Williams – the fourth overall pick in previous PBA Rookie Draft – makes his PBA debut as the Tropang Giga face Rain or Shine at 3 p.m., before Ginebra plays NorthPort at 6 p.m.
The game between the Kings and the Batang Pier will be the first for the two teams since the blockbuster trade that sent 7-footer center Greg Slaughter to NorthPort for forward Christian Standhardinger.
This will be TNT’s first game since winning its opener last July 17 against Terrafirma 86-79. Due to health protocols, the league had to adjust TNT’s schedules.
RoS, meantime, will have its own rookie Franky Johnson debuting against TNT as the team tries to rebound from a lackluster 74-48 defeat to Alaska last Wednesday night.
As for Ginebra and NorthPort, the two teams hope to bounce back from a loss – the Kings is a setback to the Hotshots while the Batang Pier an 88-86 trouncing versus the San Miguel Beermen last Sunday.