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    MAGNOLIA Chicken Timplados and Bay Area Dragons go up against each other on Saturday, and the game between two top squads in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup is expected to have a playoff-like atmosphere.

    The Hotshots and the Dragons square off at 6:45 p.m. at the Philsports Arena in their 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup clash, and both teams have been adamant that they are looking forward to their match-up.

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    “For the fans, you better go out because that should really be a nice game. It’s something that should be one of the big games of the eliminations. We invite everyone to come over,” said Magnolia assistant coach Jason Webb.

    Magnolia sits in front of the team standings with an 8-1 record, followed by Bay Area and Converge with identical records at 8-2.

    The Hotshots are on a three-game winning streak thanks to defense as they beat San Miguel, 85-80, last Wednesday. All of Magnolia’s recent wins were done after limiting their opponents to 80 points or less, making it the best team in the league in points allowed with an average of 89.9 per contest.

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    The Dragons coached by Brian Goorjian have won two straight games, all in lopsided fashion including a 118-98 victory over NLEX last Sunday.

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      “They are the No. 2 team,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. “It’s very exciting. Excited din ako kasi talagang inaabangan ng lahat ‘yun at they have a very good organization and idol na coach internationally. ‘Yung mga players, sobrang discipline and they have a good import. It’s going to a test for our defense and for our character.”

      Attention will definitely on how Bay Area import Myles Powell will do against Magnolia’s vaunted defensive guards in Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon. Powell is coming off a 36-point outing against the Road Warriors.

      “It’s not only Powell. It’s the whole Bay Area Dragons. Sobrang ganda ng line-up nila. All their bigs are athletic. Their wings are shooters,” said Victolero.

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      Goorjian is also wary of the Hotshots with the way they are playing so far.

      “They’re playing great basketball, all around. They move the ball and they’ve got good players. And we’re going to have to play good basketball to win,” said Goorjian.

      In the first game, slumping teams San Miguel and Phoenix Super LPG will go up against each other as they try to break their losing streaks in their 4:30 p.m.

      The Beermen are on a two-game losing streak after their loss to the Hotshots that dropped them to 10th place with a 3-5 win-loss record.

      The Fuel Masters are also on a two-match slide after their 90-80 defeat against Magnolia last Saturday. They are in a share of fifth place with a 5-5 win-loss mark.

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