Tatlong linggong natengga ang Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots, magbabalik mamaya para harapin ang Phoenix sa first game ng PBA Governors Cup sa Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Sept. 1 pa huling lumaro ang Hotshots (2-0) nang kubabawan ang NorthPort 104-87.

Hindi inaasahan ni Fuel Masters coach Louie Alas na kinalawang ang Magnolia sa tagal nagpahinga.
“It will be a hard-fought game,” aniya.

Mainit ang Fuel Masters (4-1), huling itinumba ang Meralco 96-86 noong Miyerkoles.

“Phoenix is playing very well lately,” puna ni Hotshots coach Chito Victolero. “We need to be sharp and focused for 48 minutes and we also expect a very physical game.”

Isa pang susubukang basagin ng Phoenix ang perimeter defense ng Hotshots, tulad ng estilo ng pambubulabog ng Alaska Aces ang nagre­galo ng nag-iisang talo ng Fuel Masters 108-97 noong Aug. 29.

“We’re having a hard time playing against a perimeter-defensive team,” dagdag ni Alas. “Alaska and Magnolia are very similar. We lost to Alaska because of that full-court press.”
Wala raw tapon sa players ni Alas, lahat ay puwedeng pumutok.

“Defensively, we have to be ready for everybody because right now everybody (sa Phoenix) is stepping up on their game,” lahad ng Magnolia mentor. ()