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Young Malcolm Hill not afraid to get physical

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Young Malcolm Hill not afraid to get physical Basketball News PBA  Star Hotshots PBA Season 42 Malcolm Hill Jr. 2017 PBA Governors Cup

After last Sunday’s win over Blackwater Elite, the Star Hotshots still felt dissatisfied afterwards. And it was mainly because of their import Cinmeon Bowers, although he put up decent numbers of 15 points and eight boards.

Those numbers were not that bad, but it wasn’t something expected from Bowers either. He had seemingly underperformed that night, prompting the Hotshots to send him back home and look for another reinforcement.

The team’s search then led them to 21-year-old Malcom Hill, a yet-to-be-proven commodity whose basketball resum√© only shows a four-year stay in the University of Illinois in the United States, and a 2017 NBA Summer League stint.

The Hotshots paraded the youthful six-foot-five forward Friday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City, against the Alaska Aces. And in his first-ever run in the pro ranks, Hill did not disappoint. He even impressed.

Hill finished with 28 points, including the last two buckets in the clutch that kept the Aces at bay, along with 11 rebounds to help the Hotshots reign supreme, 101-92, and earn their second straight win in the 2017 Governor’s Cup.

And for Hill, his stellar debut was just the result of his goal to carry over the aggressiveness he had back in Illinois, all the way to the pro league.

“My job at Illinois was to be aggressive and take over the game. I want to carry that on the professional level,” said the St. Louis, Missouri-born cager after the match.

“Coach [Chito Victolero] told me, he wants me to be aggressive.”

Regarding his game-clinching buckets down the stretch, Hill said he’d simply followed head coach Chito Victolero’s orders. “Coach told me, at the middle of the set, to get the ball and he want me to shoot those shots and I did.”

He may still be in the process of meshing with his teammates and the system as a whole, but Hill does not see any problems, claiming that he already feels at home with them even if he has just spent days with Star.

“I kinda feel I know the offense, because it’s a motion offense — just knowing where to be when the ball is in the same spot. I’ve learned it, so I think I get better feel on offense and defense,” said Hill.

His first game in the PBA is now in the books. Hill now knows the challenges that lie ahead, but he is sure that he is all set to face those, owing to the exposure he got in the Big Ten Conference back in the States.

“Players will think I’m soft maybe ’cause I’m young and fresh out of college. I played in the Big 10 and I think it’s one of the best college leagues, the most physical and defensive-oriented, so the physicality didn’t bother me,” said Hill.

“I’ve seen it before the past four years.”

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