The Magnolia Hotshots get their first taste of action in the “bubble” restart when they face off against the league-leading TNT Tropang Giga in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the AUF Sports Arena.
Tip-off is set at 4 p.m. as the PBA stages its second straight quadruple-header. Rain or Shine and NLEX kicks things of at 10 a.m. before Blackwater and Meralco take the floor at 1 p.m. Ginebra and NorthPort caps things off at 6:45 p.m.
The Hotshots will be coming into the game well rested and their morale high after they defeated the Gin Kings, 102-92, last October 25. It was a crucial win for the Hotshots as it bumped their win-loss slate to 2-4 to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive.
"We needed that bounce-back," Magnolia coach Chito Victolero was quoted as saying on the league’s official website.
"Ilang conference na rin na hindi kami makapanalo sa Ginebra," added Victolero.
With fresh legs, Magnolia is expected to use the ace up their relentless press against a TNT side that played less than 24 hours ago. The Tropang Giga are coming off a 112-87 demolition of the NorthPort Batang Pier that placed their record at 6-1.
TNT’s dominance over the Batang Pier afforded head coach Bong Ravena the chance to play his key players limited minutes. As a matter of fact, veteran guard Jayson Castro played just nine minutes in the blowout, keeping him fresh for his match-up against Magnolia’s bevy of guards led by Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon and Chris Banchero. (JNP)