ANTIPOLO CITY – The Magnolia Hotshots are sticking with the man who guided them to the top of the PBA Governors' Cup last year.
Coach Chito Victolero said there is no plan at the moment to look for a replacement for injured import Romeo Travis, who skipped the team’s game Wednesday night against Blackwater at the Ynares Center.
The Hotshots put up a gallant fight playing with an all-Filipino crew, but the Elite and Marqus Blakely proved too much as they pulled off a 95-89 win.
“Tinanong namin yung mga PTs (physical therapists) kung ilan bang games ang mami-miss niya, gaano ba katagal. Pero sabi lang nila we might rest him today,” said Victolero.
“Hindi na naman kami tumingin na ng iba because it is only one game,” added the champion coach. “Besides, kung titingin kami, darating din siya late na rin. So we don’t want na mag-gamble pa doon.”
Romeo is averaging 22.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 5.0 assists for the Hotshots, who fell to an even 3-3 card with their second straight loss.
But by Thursday, Victolero said Travis could start practicing with the team.
“Yung maga sa paa niya, nawala na. Ang maganda lang nag-start na siya makapag-lakad and today, nakakapag-shooting na rin siya,” said the Magnolia coach.
Romeo was in uniform during the game but stayed on the bench.
Victolero, though, expects Travis, who sprained his ankle in the team’s 90-89 loss to San Miguel last week, to suit up Sunday when the reigning champions face Barangay Ginebra.
“We expect him to play on Sunday,” he said.