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    PBA Preview: Magnolia banking on chemistry of intact lineup to overcome semis hump

    Dec 18, 2017

    Magnolia Hotshots

    Roster: Justin Melton, Paul Lee, Rafi Reavis, Jio Jalalon, Peter June Simon, Ian Sangalang, Riego Gamalinda, Mark Barroca, Marc Pingris, Aldrech Ramos, Rome dela Rosa, Kyle Pascual, Mon Abundo, Rodney Brondial

    Key addition: Robbie Herndon

    Significant losses: None

    THEY might have unveiled a new name, but Magnolia Hotshots are banking on old faces when they plunge into action in the PBA Philippine Cup. 

    Parading an intact lineup, the Hotshots consider familiarity and chemistry as their primary weapons in a conference where San Miguel, Ginebra, and TnT Katropa remain as the title favorites.

    Magnolia coach Chito Victolero is hoping that the chemistry they have fostered last season will work wonders for the Hotshots, who are looking to reach the finals of the All-Filipino conference.

    "Every season lagi kaming nasa semis. But yun nga, the ultimate goal is to win a championship. Yun yung goal namin," said Victolero, who added rookie Robbie Herndon to the team's arsenal.

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      Winning the championship is a longshot, but it doesn't mean it's impossible.

      "Pero hindi naman namin yun magagawa ngayon, hindi naman namin magagawa ng agad agad. We just try to build on our chemistry kasi yung core nung last season andito pa rin," he said.

      "Lahat naman ng teams gusto makuha yung championship e. Pero we'll start on our first step, sa practice, sa preparation every game, yung proper mindset ng mga bata," he added.

      As solid as their lineup is, the Hotshots have been hit by injuries in the buildup for the new season. 

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      Paul Lee, Jio Jalalon, and Rafi Reavis are still recovering from injuries. Marc Pingris is still recuperating after the removal of his kidney stones a few days ago. Herndon is also playing through back spasms, which might make him miss the season opener.

      But until they get back in full strength, Victolero has no choice but to make do with the cards on his deck.

      "Mas maganda kung healthy kami. Kumpyansa ako kung nandyan sila lahat," he said.

      "But of course, I don’t have control over it. Nangyayari naman talaga yan e. The only thing I can do is to prepare kung sino man yung healthy," added Victolero.  

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