The Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots is scheduled for a head-to-head game against the Converge FiberXers at 4:30 PM on January 29, 2023 live from the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, Rizal.
The Hotshots are about to start their PBA third conference campaign this afternoon and will be parading a league first-timer import while the FiberXers will try to strike a 3-0 blast when the games resume in the City of Antipolo.
Without a doubt, Converge is in a blaze right now. Not only that they registered back-to-back victories but their winning margin on those two outings has an average of 22.5. Import switch seems like not a problem for them as the team chemistry keeps on improving.
Yet, many of the local basketball experts say that their real test will arrive today since their last two opponents are either considered an average team in the league or usually a cellar dweller.
FiberXers head coach Aldin Ayo already has plans for that challenging encounter on how to sustain their winning ways.
“Initially it will be their defense against our offense, but we really have to work on our defense para magkaroon kami ng chance sa Sunday,” said Ayo.
Likewise, he also pointed out that though their today’s scheduled opponent hasn’t made their warm-up yet in the ongoing season-ending tournament, Ayo mentioned that there are areas that could be a disadvantage for them.
“Big problem for us because dalawang beses na kaming nasilip ng Magnolia,” Ayo said. “Pero hindi namin kilala ‘yung import, hindi namin alam kung may mga bagong plays (silang) ginagawa. So ‘yung advantage nandoon sa kanila in terms of preparation (for our game),” he added.
In relation to the above statement of the former La Salle Green Archer’s tactician, Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero seems like he’s in agreement.
“Medyo may advantage ng konti kasi nakita na namin ‘yung import nila. Pero disadvantage kasi naka-dalawang laro na sila so ‘yung rhythm, timing nila, nandoon na. Kami wala pa. Iyun ‘yung worry ko lang,” he said.
Magnolia will introduce a first-time import in the league and that’s Eric McCree. He went undrafted during the 2017 NBA Draft yet he was able to sign a contract with the Utah Jazz in the 2017-18 NBA season. Most of his basketball highlights were from his stint in different Euro leagues.
“I think bagay naman siya sa amin, ‘yung kanyang versatility and toughness,” said Victolero. “First three games tingnan natin kung paano siya makaka-adjust sa physicality ng PBA, officiating, sa sistema namin.”
“Siguro may idea na siya dahil pinapanood namin sa kanya videos of our games last conference at nakapanood na rin siya ng mga laro dito.”