TITLEHOLDER Purefoods Star looks to score a more convincing win after a shaky opening game but face a tough task against a confident Globalport side on Tuesday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Hotshots survived the NLEX Road Warriors’ flurry of three-point shots in the endgame to escape 89-85 last week and know that they need to do much better against the Batang Pier, a surprise co-leader with a 2-0 win-loss record.
Purefoods coach Tim Cone says it won’t be easy. Gametime is at 4:15 p.m.
“We got the first one under our belt, which is great. But now, we have to go through a tough, young team that is playing very well,” said Cone.
The multi-titled coach believes, however, that familiarity would trump the talent of the just-retooled Globalport side.
Returning import Marqus Blakely led the way for the Hotshots in the opening game, while the Batang Pier has let go of the ineffective Patrick O’Bryant and will field stand-in import Steve Thomas. Jarrid Famous is expected to join Globalport later in the tournament.
“We’d like to establish some early momentum in this conference and take advantage of our familiarity with each other, our import and our system. That’s our strength going to this conference,” he added.
With the locals carrying the offense, GlobalPort has gotten off to a hot start with a 92-73 win over Meralco and a 100-76 tour of Blackwater.
The Hotshots’ defense are expected to collapse once more on sophomore guard Terrence Romeo, who averages a team-best 23.5 points, along with 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists this conference.
Rookie Fil-Am Stanley Pringle has also returned after a long layoff, firing 18 points and dishing out four assists in 15 minutes of action against Blackwater.