The Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots is scheduled for a Game 1 quarterfinals head-to-head match against the Meralco Bolts at 5:45 PM on March 22, 2023 live from the Smart Araneta Coliseum at Quezon City, Metro Manila.
Armed with the most recent Most Valuable Player during the All-Star game which was held in Passi City, the Hotshots are looking to extend their playoffs appearance while the Bolts wanted to give no chance as they’re aiming to return to the biggest stage of the Govs’ Cup.
The Meralco Bolts and the Magnolia Hotshots are set to face off in a highly anticipated match at the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals. Both teams are known for their defensive prowess, with Magnolia being number one in points allowed while Meralco is at the top of the ladder in field goal percentage allowed. The Bolts are hoping to follow in the footsteps of the San Miguel Beermen and the Barangay Ginebra by landing a knockout punch on Magnolia, who need to win two games in a row to stay alive.
In their last matchup in the elimination round, the Bolts barely edged out the Hotshots with a score of 86-84. With almost identical stats in the elims, basketball fans are anticipating a slam-bang showdown between these two talented teams.
Coach Norman Black and his team are determined to make the most of their twice-to-beat advantage. “We know that Magnolia is a very tough opponent, especially when it comes to the playoffs. But we have to make sure we’re ready to play our best game and take advantage of this opportunity,” Black said.
On the other hand, Magnolia is hopeful to overcome the odds and pull off a victory against Meralco. “We know that Meralco is a tough team, but we believe in ourselves and our ability to win. We have to play smart and aggressively, and execute our game plan,” said coach Chito Victolero.
The import matchup between Meralco’s KJ McDaniels and Magnolia’s Antonio Hester is also expected to be a key factor in the game. McDaniels will be backed up by Aaron Black, Chris Newsome, and Raymond Almazan, while Hester will be complemented by Paul Lee, Calvin Abueva, Mark Barroca, and Jio Jalalon.
Lee, who recently won the PBA All-Star Three-Point Shootout and emerged as the MVP in the All-Star Game, is on a roll and could potentially be a game-changer for Magnolia. However, the team will have to endure the absence of Ian Sangalang, who will not be playing due to an injury.
Regardless, both teams are expected to bring their A-game and give it their all on the court. Fans can expect a thrilling and exciting match between the Bolts and the Hotshots. The game is set to begin at 5:45 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, succeeding the 3 p.m. tussle between top seed TNT Tropang Giga and No. 8 Phoenix Super LPG.