STAR veers away from a perimeter-oriented import as it takes on a TNT KaTropa side that’s still turning to one the Hotshots and Texters face off on Sunday as the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Hotshots parade new import Kristofer Acox after banking on wing reinforcement Malcolm Hill, who has shown maturity and poise beyond his years at 21, although Star feels it has to turn to a big man in their bid to match up against the league’s taller teams.
And the Hotshots hope Acox, a natural power forward, can satisfy their need as they aim for a sixth win in nine games that will formalize their playoff entry in the 6:45 p.m. matchup against the Texters, who have been leaning on former NBA guard Glen Rice Jr.
Acox, a 23-year-old Icelander, is hitting the ground running for the Hotshots, who are playing their second game in three days after a 109-83 win over GlobalPort last Friday.
“Ang mahirap lang dito we only have one day to prepare against TNT,” Star coach Chito Victolero said after their blowout win. “I don’t know if that’s enough to prepare against TNT because they played very well in their last three games lalong-lalo na yung last game nila. Yung import nila nag-triple-double.”
“It’s about mental,” he added. “I think we’re ready naman.”
Rice scattered 25 points, 15 boards, and 10 assists on top of five blocks that negated his nine turnovers in TNT’s hard-earned 112-107 win over sister squad NLEX last Wednesday in Antipolo.
The Texters are seeking for their seventh win in 10 games to move closer to a Top four berth that entails a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Blackwater (4-5) and GlobalPort (3-6), two teams that are fighting for the remaining playoff berths, face off in the first game at 4:30 p.m.