LEARNING its lesson well, Magnolia is flying in returning import Romeo Travis well ahead of the start of the season-ending PBA Governors Cup, where the Hotshots are the defending champions.
Coach Chito Victolero said Travis coming over a month before the final conference of the year kicks off should give the import enough time to settle in and get reacquianted with the Hotshots’ system.
Import woes hounded the Hotshots’ campaign in the Commissioner’s Cup in which they changed reinforcements three times, starting off with the injured John Fields, followed by James Farr, and then settling with Rakeem Christmas.
The constant changes obviously hampered the team’s camaraderie and cohesion that resulted in an early playoff exit that had the Hotshots limping out of the quarterfinals following a two-game sweep at the hands of Barangay Ginebra.
“Yes, Travis kami,” said Victolero on Tuesday.
“Hopefully,” added the Magnolia coach when asked if Travis returning for a second tour of duty meant import stability for the team for the rest of the conference.
Travis had earlier posted on his Instagram account the words ‘I’m coming back…@magnolia hotshots,’ accompanying the post wth a photo of him in a Magnolia jersey.
He's expected to arrive on August 20 or about a month before the season finale kicks off on Sept. 20
The 34-year-old Travis, a former Best Import during his first ever stint in the league with Alaska back in 2015, helped Magnolia end a four-year title drought when the Hotshots outclassed Mike Harris and the Alaska Aces in six games to win last season’s Governors Cup championship.
He played with Mono Vampire in the last ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season, steering the Thailand-based squad to a semifinal stint where it lost to eventual champion CSL Knights Indonesia.