Credit to Author: Tempo Online| Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2019 16:00:50 +0000
By Waylon Galvez
(Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City)
4:30 p.m. – Blackwater vs Alaska
7 p.m. – Magnolia vs Rain or Shine
Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok guard Paul Lee isn’t pushing the panic button despite the team’s 0-2 start as he remains optimistic going into today’s match with his former team – Rain or Shine – in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
But if they are to end the shaky start they better shape up in their 7 p.m. clash with the red-hot Painters, who have won their last four games for a league-leading 6-1 record.
“We’re still ok even of we lose back-to-back games,” said Lee, who won his first Best Player of the Conference in last season’s Governors’ Cup. “But we have to start winning… we need to win this one before the break,” added Lee.
Clashing in the opening game at 4;30 p.m. are Alaska and Blackwater with the former out to get back on the winning track following a painful 98-94 overtime loss to the Painters last Sunday.
Coming off a successful title campaign in the Governors’ Cup last season where it downed Alaska in six games, the Hotshots training only two weeks ago and that resulted to an 80-75 loss to TNT KaTropa and a 113-92 beating at the hands of the San Miguel Beermen.
ROS mentor Caloy Garcia isn’t too worried about his team’s tight schedule this early – that’s because they’re winning.
“We’re in a good position now, and good thing about it too is we’ll finish the elimination round early. We’ll have time to rest and recover (from injuries). But our focus now, for this game, is to continue what we are doing. Hopefully that leads to another win,” said Garcia.
Meanwhile, the PBA takes a break to giveaway to the participation of Gilas Pilipinas in the sixth and last leg of the FIBA World Cup, as the national team takes on Qatar in Doha on February 21 and Kazakhstan in Astana on February 24.
“There’s no turning back in our support for the national team. Sabi ko nga ang PBA all-out support yan sa Team Pilipinas,” said commissioner Willie Marcial.