Magnolia Pambansang Manok parades another new import in Justin Jackson while Alaska Milk will still play minus Calvin Abueva as the Hotshots and the Aces clash in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.
Tip-off is at 6:45 p.m.
After dropping their last two outings with Curtis Kelly, the Magnolia management and coaching staff decided to bring in Jackson, a former Cincinnati U standout who last played with the Rieker Komarno ball club in Slovakia.
Meanwhile, the Aces will continue to be without Abueva who was slapped with an indefinite suspension by team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu for going AWOL (absence without official leave).
"The Alaska team has placed Calvin Abueva on indefinite suspension following his more than one week absence from practice and failing to advise the coaching staff and management of his whereabouts," said Uytengsu in a statement.
"While the team understands Calvin may be going through some troubling personal issues, it does not obviate his responsibility to his team. The suspension is effective immediately," Uytengsu added.
The Alaska top boss, however, said they would allow Abueva to play for Gilas Pilipinas if national coach Chot Reyes chooses to include him in the line-up.
Alaska, at 5-1, is in contention for a Top Two finish while Magnolia is at joint fifth with San Miguel Beer at 3-3.
The Aces are right behind the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (7-1) and the TNT KaTropa Texters (6-1), having won their last five games after a losing conference debut against ROS.
Another win will guarantee the Aces a spot in the eight-team quarterfinal round.
With back-to-back losses to ROS and Blackwater, the Hotshots, meanwhile, now face mounting pressure as at least four teams in GlobalPort, Phoenix Fuel, Columbian Dyip and NLEX are breathing down their neck..
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero hopes Jackson can help them get out of the rut.
Jackson comes in with good credentials, including being a former ACC Defensive Player of the Year awardee.
Uncertain is whether Ian Sangalang is now ready to come back from an injury.(SB)