MAGNOLIA Hotshots Pambansang Manok and Meralco Bolts want no less than a win when they collide in the PBA Season 45 Philippine Cup on Tuesday at the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Pampanga.
The Hotshots are keen on bouncing back after losing a close one to Alaska Aces last Saturday, while the Bolts are eager to get a confidence-boosting win after they got blown out by rival Ginebra Gin Kings two days ago.
The Bolts are expected to make the necessary adjustment after the double-figure loss to Ginebra, where they turned the ball over 16 times.
Meralco will rely on Baser Amir, Reynel Hugnatan, Chris Newsome, Cliff Hodge and Allein Maliksi when they square off with the Pambansang Manok at 4 p.m.
The Hotshots are also coming off a frustrating defeat from the hands of Alaska Aces, 87-81, as they struggled from beyond the arc that game shooting only 29 percent of their 29 attempts from trey.
The Hotshots will be counting on Paul Lee, Jio Jalalon, Mark Barroca, Chris Bachero and Ian Sangalang.
Alaska Aces and the Blackwater Elite will clash in the main game at 6:45 p.m. as both teams look to sustain their momentum after coming off a victory.
The Elite slammed the NLEX Road Warriors, 98-88, last Saturday for their second win in the season, while the Aces notched their first win against the Hotshots.
Veteran forward KG Canaleta came off the bench to lead the way for the Elite on that game as he splashed in 18 points and seven boards, while starting forward Don Trollano pitched in a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Blackwater will need to get the same intensity from Canelata and Trollano and the support from Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, Roi Sumang, Ed Daquioag and Paul Desidirio against Alaska.
Alaska Aces will depend on consistent plays from Jayvee Casio who racked up 17 points, and Abu Tratter who had 10 points, nine rebounds and two steals on their last game.
The other key contributors for the Aces are Vic Manuel, Jeron Teng, Michael DiGregorio and Robert Herdon.
In the other game last Sunday, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters survived the Northport Batang Pier in a low-scoring action, 70-68.
Rey Nambatac converted two free throws off a driving foul with 1.3 left on the clock to win in it for the Elasto Painters, who improved to a 3-0 (win-loss) record, tying Ginebra and TNT Tropang Giga at the leaderboard.
Rooking Adrian Wong finished with a team-high of 15 points, Nambatac stacked up 10 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Sidney Onwubere scattered 11 points and five boards.
“Ever since he was my player at Letran, I’ve seen that he has the guts to take big shots,” said Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia of Nambatac during the post-game press conference.