Jun 23, 2022

Rising Phoenix eyes third straight win against injury-plagued Magnolia

WHICH between injury-wracked Magnolia and surging Phoenix Super LPG would be able to translate desire into game would be known Friday in their PBA Philippine Cup encounter at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The combatants currently tote similar 2-3 slates and would like nothing more than to break out of that deadlock and continue moving up in the standings.

Game time is 3 p.m.

"Crucial ang laban na iyan for both of us kasi parehong kailangan namin ng panalo at dikit kami," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.

"And then may momentum din Phoenix," added Victolero before adding his Hotshots' basic gameplan. "We need to match 'yung aggressiveness nila kasi nga they're very aggressive on both ends of the floor," he stated.

Sponsored content:
Indeed, Phoenix is on a roll, following up a breakthrough win over Terrafirma last Friday and a 106-102 decision over Rain or Shine last Sunday.

The intact Fuel Masters seemingly also have the advantage over the Hotshots, who will have Paul Lee as a game-time decision due to recurring back spasms and a calf injury. The same is true of Jerrick Ahanmisi, who suffered a sprain in practice last Wednesday.

Rafi Reavis also still have to fully recover from a recent prolonged bout with diarrhea while Calvin Abueva would be serving out a one-game suspension imposed by the league for his unsportsmanlike behavior in the course of Magnolia's 89-84 victory over Barangay Ginebra later last Sunday.

Victolero believes it is up to his remaining players to continue holding the fort.

"We'll try na lumaban pa rin. Sila (James) Laput, (Jackson) Corpuz nag-step up naman. Sana magtuloy-tuloy para hindi kami masyadong ma-put at a disadvantage against Phoenix," said Victolero. "Tulong-tulong muna ngayon."

Sponsored content:
Victolero, however, admits handling Phoenix would be a tough task.

"Naglalaro na ng maganda 'yung (Sean) Anthony at si (Javee) Mocon medyo gumaganda na rin chemistry with his teammates, and then ibang players nila nag-i-step up, like (RJ Jazul) and (Tyler) Tio," noted Victolero.

"Alam naming key players pa rin nila sina (Matthew) Wright and (Jason) Perkins, but we're also preparing for their other players kasama supporting cast nila." (NC)