Magnolia wasted no time flexing its depth in the guard position with the arrival of Chris Banchero, Wednesday.
The Hotshots went with a three-guard lineup in the last 4:57 of their match versus the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters with Banchero, Paul Lee, and Mark Barroca. And that paid off greatly as they scored a big 97-81 victory.
The Fil-Italian cager finished with 10 points, including the lay-up off a feed by Barroca with 2:35 left to play that gave Magnolia an 87-77 lead. He also had five rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes and 23 seconds of action.
“‘Yun ‘yung endgame namin. ‘Yung pace, amin. ‘Yung tempo ng game, sa ‘min,” said Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero regarding his decision to field in three guards late. “We controlled the game with those three guards.
“I’m very happy na may weapon akong ganun. I can go big, I can go small.”
Banchero, on the other hand, says that their three-guard lineup can create havoc on the defensive end.
“It felt good, it looked good,” said Banchero, on the other hand. “I think we’re really tough defensively. We’re gonna give people a hard time. We have a lot of quick guards. It’s gonna be tough. We held them to only eighty-one points.
“If we can stay in that area, that’s how you win championships. Defense and rebounding are gonna get the job done.”
Despite his commendable first game as a Hotshot, the 30-year-old said that he still has a lot of work to do with his new team. Still, Magnolia improved to 5-4 in the standings to keep its Top Four aspirations beating.
“I’m still getting used to it, so I feel brand-new,” said the five-year pro out of Seattle Pacific.