September 16, 2017

Rebounding woes prompt Star to dump Hill

HAD the situation been right, Malcolm Hill would have been the perfect fit for Star.

But with the Hotshots needing a reinforcement who can better match up against the other teams' bigger imports, Hill has to be let go in lieu of Kris Acox.

"He's a very good import, pero we need somebody who can defend the likes of (Meralco's Allen) Durham and (Barangay Ginebra's Justin) Brownlee," said Star coach Chito Victolero of Hill.

"At the same time, we need another rebounder. Lahat ng talo namin we were outrebounded by the other teams kaya we brought in somebody who we feel can help us in that area."

Enter Acox, who arrived in the country only Thursday evening and saw Hill churn out his best all-around performance in his farewell game to the tune of 32 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in a 109-83 victory over GlobalPort last Friday.

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"He was very professional about it nu'ng kinausap namin siya," related Victolero. "We told him the problem is not him, it's us dahil kulang kami talaga sa rebounder and post defender dahil hindi pa 100 percent si (Marc) Ping(ris) and si Rafi (Reavis) me edad na.

"He told us he understands, then biglang naglaro ng pinakamaganda niyang laro para sa amin. Talagang consummate pro. Kung meron lang kaming (JuneMar) Fajardo o (Greg) Slaughter he would have been ideal for us dahil talagang scorer. And everybody in the team likes him."

Hill wound up with averages of 25 points on a 41% field goal shooting , 11.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in the eight games he played, leading the Hotshots' drive to a 5-3 record.

High expectations are now on Acox, two years older than the 21-year-old Hill.
Listed at 6-6 and 215 pounds, the wide-bodied power forward was a former standout at Furman U and is a member of Iceland's national team.

"We're now looking at him to help power us through the rest of the eliminations and hopefully the playoffs," said Victolero, who is set field Acox when his team faces TNT Sunday, Kia on Friday and NLEX next Sunday in a determined bid to make it among the top four.
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