Purefoods Star eyes first back-to-back wins as Hotshots take on winless Blackwater Elite
Coach Tim Cone and the Hotshots look to move to .500 after a faltering start in the Philippine Cup. Jerome Ascano

PUREFOODS Star hopes its get-together over the weekend could bring a lot of positivity as the Hotshots take on winless expansion team Blackwater in the opening game of the PBA Philippine Cup on Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Hotshots (2-3) shifted to an early morning practice last Sunday, before taking the time to bond with each other at the house of coach Tim Cone in Alabang Hills.

“We hope to follow up our last win and continue our ascent up the standings,” Cone said, whose charges collide with the Elite (0-6) at 4:15 p.m.

The winningest coach in PBA history said their bad start may have already cost them a top 2 finish, which would have given them a chance to get an automatic slot in the semifinals.

Nonetheless, Cone said their immediate goal is to sustain their gains from last week, where they plastered the NLEX Road Warriors, 92-76.

[See Tim Cone happy to see Purefoods rediscover old form in emphatic win over NLEX]

“With our slow start, a top two finish might be out of reach for us, but it’s still crucial to get to the top half of the standings. A win over Blackwater is an important step in that direction,” he added.

Blackwater is the only team that has yet to win in the tournament, following Barako Bull’s 87-71 win over KIA Motors last Sunday. The Energy now sport a 1-5 record under new coach Koy Banal.

The Elite dropped their sixth straight game in their maiden season after bowing to league-leader and unbeaten Alaska, 69-56.

[See Defense the name of the game as Alaska stays perfect after rout of Blackwater]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava