STAR treads into the unknown when it takes on a Mahindra side that’s parading a new import on Wednesday night in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup matchup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Floodbuster are fielding Keith Wright after the team won just one of its first four games with returning import James White.
“Ngayon lang namin nalaman, so we don’t have any time to prepare for the new import,” Hotshots coach Chito Victolero insisted in a short chat with SPIN.ph after practice on the eve of the game that tips off at 4:15 p.m.
“May konting time lang kami na makita kung sino man yun, sa Google lang, so yun ang mahirap,” he added. “Meron kaming preparation with White.”
“But we have a proper mindset naman,” the coach who led the Hotshots to their first semifinal stint in two years was quick to add. “Maganda naman yung inensayo nila and we know the situation, alam namin what’s at stake dito sa game na ‘to.”
The Hotshots are unbeaten through three games and are just a half-game behind pacesetting Alaska. A victory against the Floodbuster will grant them a share of the lead in the 12-team standings.
Tony Mitchell anchors the Hotshots again and is coming off a game where he recovered from early foul trouble to make his presence felt in the payoff period, capping his play with the assist that led to Jio Jalalon’s game-winner in the 105-103 win over NLEX.
Mitchell matches up with Wright, who’s a bit shorter than White after being officially measured at 6’8” on Tuesday, but is more of a traditional big man the Floodbuster need.
"Our losses have been disappointing, but you know this is a tough league and no one is going to feel sorry for you," Gavina said. "You have to keep gathering collective efforts and building winning habits, and building that competitive fire every single opportunity we have."