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Tiebreaker Times


Zamboanga willing to let Hester go to Magnolia

Zamboanga MLV is ready to let go of Antonio Hester amid reports that the American cager is set for a PBA comeback through Magnolia.

Team owner Junnie Navarro said that the ball club is willing to release the 32-year-old right after the Kuala Lumpur circuit of the ongoing ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Invitational, which is set on February 3-8.

Hester, formerly of Terrafirma, has been with Zamboanga since last month and has played in two circuits of the regional pro league.

“Kung gusto niya maglaro doon, okay na,” Navarro told Tiebreaker Times. “Okay naman din sa amin, kasi hindi rin kami nag-stop kung ano talaga gusto niya.”

Navarro added that Hester might leave as early as Monday after their game against Bangkok at MABA Arena.

A report by hours prior to Magnolia’s Governors’ Cup match versus San Miguel said that the team is set to bring in Hester as a replacement for Erik McCree following a 0-2 start into the season-ending conference.

2023-PBA-Governors-Cup-San-Miguel-vs-Magnolia-Erik-McCree Zamboanga willing to let Hester go to Magnolia ABL Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

(C) PBA Images

The Hotshots eventually fell to 0-3 after bowing the Beermen, 100-98, their worst start in an import-laden conference under coach Chico Victolero.

Asked about their import situation, the champion mentor said that the coaches will assess as much in the next 24 hours before making a move.

“Pag-uusapan ng mga coaches. Tingnan natin. Our next game is on Friday, so we’ll try to assess him within the next 24 hours, and then we will decide if we will stay with him or if we will change the import,” he said.

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Should Magnolia push through with the reported plan, the team will have itself a versatile talent in Hester, who averaged 28.3 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.6 steals with the Dyip in the previous Governors’ Cup.

Navarro admitted that it would be a huge loss for Zamboanga but said that the Miami native will always be welcome should he come back.

“Siyempre malaking kawalan sa team ‘yun, pero ganun talaga ang basketball,” said the amiable owner, who recently got the services of Mario Chalmers.

“Pero, he is always welcome sa team. Antonio Hester is like family to us.”

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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