Victolero expects Abueva to fit in well with Magnolia system
MANILA, Philippines—Chito Victolero doesn’t see any problems regarding Calvin Abueva’s place in Magnolia’s rotation.
A man who’s innovated guard play in the league, Victolero sees Abueva sliding into any position be it an off-ball forward, offensive focal point, or even an oversized 1.
“Calvin is an all-around player. He can shoot, he can pass, he can rebound, and apart from that he brings so much energy and hustle,” said Victolero in Filipino in a Zoom interview with Inquirer Friday.
“I think he can be that big guard for us and he can be at the 2-guard position because we still have a complete lineup of guards. We’ll just give Calvin a bit more of responsibility since, in the case of emergency, he can be the 1 or 2 since he’s a playmaker.”
Victolero, who n the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup, has revolutionized backcourt play in the league using three point guards in games to fully optimize his pressing defensive schemes.
This style of play led the Hotshots to become the fourth-best defensive team in terms of allowed points limiting opponents to 88.4 points a game while scoring a league-best 21.0 points off turnovers.
Magnolia was also the second-best team in terms of steals tallying 8.8 a game just behind league leader TNT that had an average mark of 9.1 a game.
Victolero said that Abueva is perfect for his team’s high pressing attack and he’ll easily fit in with point guards Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon in the Hotshots’ pesky defense.
“When Calvin and I talked, I told him that whatever his style of play is then he’ll just have to keep doing it,” said Victolero. “I told him that he should never let go of that energy and never-say-die spirit.”
“We expect Calvin to just play his strengths and we hope that we can limit his weaknesses. We also want him to keep working on his leadership and maturity.”
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