UPDATE: Sophomore Forward Ian Sangalang suffered a partial tear in his ACL and MCL in their last game against the Alaska ACES and will be out for 6 to 8 months. Because of this, Coach Tim Cone and the rest of the coaching staff are now working out a short-term deal for veteran big guy Don Allado to bolster the Hotshots’ front line.
It was a forgettable first game for the Grand Slam Champions as they were walloped by the Alaska Aces, 93-73. They will now try to move forward and get their first W of the conference against one of their sister-teams, the San Miguel Beermen.
For them to even up their W-L record against SMB, there are two things the Hotshots’ need to improve: Execution and Defense. In their last game, Purefoods committed an atrocious 24 turnovers. They must be able to take better care of the ball in this game as they are facing a loaded offensive team that will for sure, make them pay every time they turn the ball over. On the defensive end, the Hotshots’ front line will have a busy night containing June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos. The two former MVP’s posted 16 points apiece in their season-opening win against Rain or Shine.
With Pingris is still on leave, James Yap (16 points vs. Alaska) would still have to carry much of the load for the team. For them to have a better chance of scoring their first victory of the conference, other players like Mark Barroca, Joe Devance, and PJ Simon must be able to provide ample support for “Big Game” James in their attack.
However, from the looks of their last game, it seems that Purefoods is still struggling to find their rhythm as a team both on offense and on defense; going into this game against San Miguel with that form would most likely mean a 0-2 start for the defending champions this conference.