PBA: Magnolia having thoughts of import change after 0-3 start
MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia coach Chito Victolero was mum on reports that his team is set to bring former Terrafirma import Antonio Hester following an alarming 0-3 start in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
But Victolero said after falling 100-98 to the San Miguel Beermen on Sunday that the Hotshots are now having thoughts of replacing Erik McCree, whose numbers have dipped after his debut.
“This is the time that we need to think [about our import situation],” Victolero said. “We will talk with the coaching staff and we’ll see what happens.
“Our next game is on Friday [against Phoenix], so we’ll try to assess him (McCree) within the next 24 hours, and then we will decide if we will stay with him or if we will change the import.”
McCree had just 13 points and missed 14 of his 18 attempts, a production that left Hotshots fans with plenty to desire.
Hester suited up for Terrafirma in last season’s Governors’ Cup, averaging 28.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals in 11 matches.
He’s currently playing for the Zamboanga Valientes in the Asean Basketball League and has produced 23.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists.
The Hotshots are off to their worst start since going 0-2 in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup where they were hounded by a number of import changes despite eventually reaching the quarterfinals.
Victolero, however, saw some positives even in defeat as Magnolia saw flashes of its competitive form, even with McCree struggling and Ian Sangalang still out with an illness.
“All we need to do is to stay positive,” he said. “There’s eight more games to go and we don’t have to dwell on these tough losses.
“Hopefully we can execute well. I think our defense is slowly coming back and hopefully we can execute more on offense.”