COACH Chito Victolero reminded his players to stay in focus and sharp as they play the “dangerous game,” when Magnolia battles NLEX on Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Victolero and wards are eyeing for win No. 5.
Despite being unblemished in four games sitting on top, the former pro player Victolero expects the Road Warriors to go for a possible upset in their 8 p.m. encounter — that’s something they have to avoid like just what happened to sister San Miguel Beer, 113-117, last November 15.
“It’s going to be a dangerous game, as we take on NLEX because they have a new import, and they are playing very aggressive nowadays,” Victolero told BusinessMirror on Thursday, citing the lack of scouting they have on NLEX new import Stokely Chaffee Jr.
“We really don’t know him, just having a few video clips, then nothing.”
Chaffee, 26, who played college ball in Tennessee State and overseas in Cyprus and Finland, had already replaced Thomas Robinson as NLEX import due to a management decision that has something to with “discipline and commitment.”
Magnolia’s Tyler Bey, definitely the best import so far averaging 29.3 points, 14.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in four games including the 31 points and 10 rebounds in their classic comeback 93-91 win against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel last November 19.
“He’s super fitted with us,” Victolero added.
Besides the prolific import, the Hotshots also have the local firepowers like Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon, David Murrel, big men Ian Sangalang, James Laput and Abu Tratter, among others, to protect their clean slate.
NLEX, on the other hand, is moving on the departure of Robinson, hoping to improve their 2-2 record by giving Magnolia its first beating.
Meanwhile, NorthPort and TNT Tropang Giga try to break a 2-2 tie when they clash in the 4pm game.