ITS cloak of invincibility shattered the last time out, Purefoods is approaching its game against KIA Motors with caution in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots found their four-game winning streak snapped on Saturday when they bowed to Rain or Shine in Dipolog City, 78-71.
Coach Tim Cone said the team has since moved on, turning its focus once again on integrating new import Daniel Orton into the Hotshots’ patented triangle offense.
“At this point, we’re just looking for a strong bounce-back game. Our priority is getting Daniel integrated into the system and his teammates,” said Cone.
The Hotshots (4-1) however, won’t have stars James Yap and Peter June Simon in their 7:15 p.m. game against the Carnival.
Yap is out with a left knee injury, while Simon is still dealing with back spasm.
Cone recognizes that playing KIA led by imposing 7-foot-3 import Peter John Ramos won’t be easy, judging from the way the Carnival played in their last game against Ginebra.
“We know we can’t look past Ramos and KIA. They’ve been playing really good basketball and we know we will have our hands full,” added the veteran Purefoods coach.
The Carnival (1-4) managed to keep the game close for more than three quarters before eventually fading down the stretch against the Kings, 100-92.
Ramos averages a tournament-best 36.5 points and is ranked second in rebounds with his 20.5 rebounds per contest.
Orton along with Marc Pingris and back-up big men Rafi Reavis and Yousef Taha are expected to help out in containing the 29-year-old Ramos.