January 04, 2018

Two-week sabbatical helpful to injured Hotshots

ONE team that appreciates the long PBA holiday break is Magnolia.

The more than two-week break between the Hotshots' last Christmas Day game and the match against Kia next Wednesday was a very welcome one which they used to heal their injuries, particularly to Jio Jalalon and Rafi Reavis.

"Talagang thankful kami dahil nakatulong iyung break para gumaling mula sa injuries nila mga players ko," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero Thursday.

Jalalon has yet to see action in the Philippine Cup due to pre-season bone spurs removal. Ditto for Reavis, who has been sidelined by hip problems.

"Either today or tomorrow final tests nila and once na cleared to play sila, then they can play in the game against Kia," related Victolero.

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The team formerly known as Star was actually bitten by the injury bug and admittedly lucky to emerge from its first two games with an even 1-1 slate.

Although he scored 30 points in a 108-95 win over Alaska in their season opener against Alaska, Paul Lee is yet to reach 100 percent due to off-season knee surgery while Marc Pingris sat out that game due to kidney stones removal.

"Ngayon mga nasa around 80 percent na si Paul samantalang si Ping ganu'n din," offered Victolero.

In a 78-89 loss to Barangay Ginebra last Christmas, Robbie Herndon was suffering from back spasms while Justin Melton was hampered by a bum stomach.

Victolero is hoping his team would be more complete for the new year.

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"Hinihintay lang namin talaga makumpleto para maikasa namin kung ano pa dapat gawin, ma-fine tune ng husto laro ng team," he said.

"Kailangan talaga full strength kami as soon as possible dahil malalakas lahat ang kalaban at mahirap mapag-iwanan." (NC)