MAGNOLIA Hotshots and Meralco try to rebound from stinging setbacks in their last outings last December as they play separate opponents in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots go up against Kia in the first tussle at 4:30 p.m. while the Bolts clash with the Alaska Aces in the main offering at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots lost to Barangay Ginebra on Christmas Day, 89-78, while the Bolts fell to San Miguel Beer on Dec 27, 103-97.
“It’s a very important game for us coming from a loss against Ginebra,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
“We need to bounce back and start winning again especially since it is our first game of the year,” he added.
Victolero and his Hotshots will have to be cautious enough in the game, especially since they are up against a team that has become unpredictable now that they are under a new coach.
Coach Ricky Dandan, who had replaced Chris Gavina who had resigned, will debut for the team seeking to make a turnaround this early after dropping its first two outings in the kickoff conference.
“Kia is a very dangerous team, with the new coach and new system, we expect a hard game and we need to be ready mentally and physically,” said Victolero.
“We just try to execute our game plan on both ends and play as team for 48 minutes and we have a good chance of beating this team,” added Victolero.
Like the Hotshots, the Bolts are also in for dangerous outings because the Aces are also in search of their first win.
“Offensively it’s very important that we do a good job handling their pressure defense while limiting our turnovers,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
“Defensively we must try to limit the duo of Calvin (Abueva) and Jeron Teng while also challenging the outside shooting of JV Casio,” added Black.
Both the Bolts and the Hotshots are sporting 1-1 slates.