STAR seeks to sustain its rise in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup this time as it takes on Phoenix on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Hotshots have been stuck at the cellar since the start of the midseason conference, but are gaining some momentum, having won two of their last three games, the latest an impressive 96-88 decision over defending champion Tropang TNT last Sunday.
“Magandang simula ‘to. Sana tuloy-tuloy na,” Hotshots star forward Marc Pingris said. “Maganda kasi yung plano ni coach Jason.”
And they hope to finally register their first winning streak under coach Jason Webb, who has yet to steer the squad to back-to-back wins since he was at the helm.
They face a Fuel Masters side that’s also aiming to win back-to-back games for the first time in franchise history, setting it in motion with a 114-99 victory over Mahindra last Wednesday that snapped a three-game skid.
Tipoff is at 3 p.m. in an appetizer to the main game between Alaska and GlobalPort at 5:15 p.m.
Ricardo Ratliffe was solid in his debut as the Hotshots import, tallying 23 points, 13 boards, and four assists in 38 minutes and the American big man is expected to anchor the middle anew for the Hotshots.
The Fuel Masters, on the other hand, are leaning on Kevinn Pinkney, who had 23 points and nine boards in the blowout against the Enforcers.
The Aces, who have jumped to the top of 12-team standings with a 4-1 win-loss record after Meralco suffered a second straight setback, look to protect their spot as they face the Batang Pier, who are tied with Star with a 2-4 record.
GlobalPort is s parading new import Shawn Taggart, who tries to lead the team in arresting a three-game slide and improve its 2-4 slate.