STAR seeks to bring back its radiance as it tries to zap energy from Meralco when both teams collide in the PBA Governors’ Cup that goes on the road on Saturday at the Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Complex in Laguna.
The Hotshots had been the last unbeaten team standing in the tournament after opening with four straight wins to set the pace, before they lost their last two games to drop to fourth spot, which is still inside the rankings that come with a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
Coming off a 105-101 overtime decision at the hands of defending champion Barangay Ginebra last Sunday, the Hotshots face the losing finalist of the last edition of the season-ending conference in the Bolts in the out-of-town game that tips off at 5 p.m.
“We are going up against a very powerful team in Meralco,” Star coach Chito Victolero said after their loss to the Gin Kings. “We need to prepare hard for that game dahil parehas number one teams ang kalaban namin, back-to-back yun.”
The Bolts are also eager to get back on the winning track as they’re also coming off a loss to a sister team in TNT KaTropa, via a 113-107 scoreline, last Wednesday, only their second in seven games.
Malcolm Hill, who’s averaging 24.4 points, 12 boards, 2.8 assists, and one steal against 4.2 turnovers, continues to show maturity beyond his 21-year-old self and lead the Hotshots.
The tournament’s youngest import, though, matches up against the reigning Best Import in Allen Durham, who’s putting numbers across the board with 27.7 points, 19 rebounds, and 6.7 assists in 39.9 minutes, although Hotshots big men Marc Pingris, Rafi Reavis, and Ian Sangalang are excepted to take on the unenviable task to defend the Bolts import.