Magnolia stakes winning run against Meralco

Magnolia puts its four-game winning streak on the line when it squares off against another playoff-seeking team in Meralco in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Magnolia is visibly enjoying its four-game winning streak (PBA Images)

The Hotshots have completely put their early conference struggles behind as they eye to further climb up the standings against the dangerous Bolts squad in the main event of the double-header at 6:45 p.m.

Serving as a curtain-raiser to the marquee showdown is a clash between Converge and Phoenix at 4:30 p.m.

Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero raved at the changes that happened to his team since the addition of import Antonio Hester and going into a winning streak.

“Si Hester ‘yung nagbibigay sa amin ng energy, nagbibigay sa amin ng inside presence, nagbibigay sa amin ng maturity. He’s enjoying his teammates at the same time his teammates are enjoying him so yung malaking factor sa amin ngayon,” said Victolero.

“We’re playing well because we’re enjoying the game yun yung bottomline kasi before masyadong pressured tapos yung import namin medyo di maka deliver, right now everybody settled down everybody nakatawa even in practice, yun nga yung nagiging reminders ko sa sobrang saya nakakalimutan na magfocus e,” he added.

Indeed, the Hotshots looked having more fun inside the court, evident in their masterful 112-97 performance against Rain or Shine with its three-headed backcourt of Paul Lee, Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon who all finished with 19 points each.

Hester continued to man the paint but was getting much help from Calvin Abueva and seldom-used Rafi Reavis and Russel Escoto.

Out to play the antagonist and remove those smiles to Hotshots’ face however are the Bolts who are looking to put on a shocker against another team currently ahead of them in the standings. Meralco stunned NLEX, 114-98, last time out to get back on the winning track and for a 4-3 record in the standings.

KJ McDaniels sustained his fine play for Meralco, finishing with 31 points and 21 rebounds but unlike in their two-game lose streak, he got ample support from the likes of Chris Newsome, Aaron Black and Allein Maliksi.