PBA Season 43 Preview: As injuries heal, Magnolia banks on chemistry in title chase
Head Coach: Chito Victolero
Key Players: Paul Lee, Marc Pingris, Peter June Simon
Key Additions: Robbie Herndon, Gwynne Capacio
New name, new beginnings. That’s the mentality Magnolia is taking to the 43rd season of the PBA.
After reaching the semifinals in all three conferences last season, the Hotshots are aching to be more than just Final Four fodders and once again engage in title showdowns.
But coach Chito Victolero knows that getting to the championship, even the semifinals and quarterfinals at the very least, won’t be as easy of a task if Magnolia’s injury woes continue.
“We want to heal up from our injuries. We know our goal and that is to get over the hump on what we achieved last season. But though it’s hard, we’re just doing the next best thing we can which is to double down on our preparations,” he said.
Guards Paul Lee and Jio Jalalon are still on recovery from their respective injuries, leaving Victolero with a depleted lineup to start the season.
But he’s not all too worried knowing how stringent the team’s preparations are for the buildup this conference.
“Of course, we’re thinking about those injured players. But the mindset of our players is that they’re ready to step up. We’re waiting for Paul and Jio, and hopefully, they’ll be able to join our trainings soon, but if they don’t, we’re still ready,” he said.
But once in full force, the Hotshots will parade a virtually intact lineup that includes a stellar rookie in Robbie Herndon.
“We’ll bank on our chemistry and teamwork. That will decide how successful we will be this conference,” he said. “With the proper mindset, hardwork, and good chemistry, I think we’ll be able to reach our ultimate goal which is to win the championship.”
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