Jun 02, 2023

Hotshots eye win no. 3, Road Warriors poise to end skid

THE Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots are out to extend their unbeaten run while the NLEX Road Warriors are poised to end their winless streak.

With clashing motivations, the Hotshots and the Road Warriors face off in the PBA on Tour's Saturday out-of-town offering in Baliwag City, Bulacan.

The streaking Magnolia charges of Chito Victolero (2-0) and the slow-starting NLEX crew of Frankie Lim hit the court of the Baliwag Star Arena at 5 p.m.

Victolero and the Hotshots have been impressive in their 117-83 rout of Blackwater and 99-95 squeaker over tough Converge, pulling through despite the absence of key players Ian Sangalang, Calvin Abueva and Jio Jalalon to various injuries.

The Hotshots have gotten soild outings from "project" big man James Laput, backup guard Jed Mendoza, and young gunner Jerrick Ahanmisi as well as trade acquisition Abu Tratter in the pre-season meet presented by Arena Plus and sponsored by Bingo Plus.

Sponsored content:
Victolero said Magnolia is making the most of this opportunity to "develop" shock troopers like Laput, Mendoza and Ahanmisi and get to know Tratter some more.

But that's not saying that veterans like Mark Barroca and Paul Lee are taking it easy here.

In fact, it was the tested duo of Barroca and Lee who spearheaded the Hotshots's bid to get out of a seeming end-game collapse and salvage Win No. 2 against Converge last Wednesday.

While Magnolia is off to a flying start, NLEX has stumbled to back-to-back defeats to the Bossing (88-93) and Rain or Shine (93-117) with its undermanned roster.

Lim traded to get stretch big man Ben Adamos from Phoenix this week in an effort to shore up the frontcourt currently manned by Mike Miranda and Jake Pascual, hopeful it will help the squad snap out of its funk. (OL)