The Converge FiberXers and the Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots will look to make their Christmas merrier with a win this Saturday. Will the FiberXers pull off a holiday miracle (sort of)? Or, will the Hotshots add Converge to their growing list of victims?

Catch this game live on Saturday,  December 23 at 6:15 pm, Manila time.

Converge FiberXers (1-7)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Kevin Racal
  • Michael Joseph Nieto
  • Jamil Wilson
  • Kevin Racal
  • Justin Arana

The good news for the FiberXers is that they will not finish the conference winless whatever happens the rest of the way. The bad news is that none of their last three opponents in the elimination phase of the Commissioner’s Cup carries the Terrafirma Dyip brand. After tasting their first win of the season on Dec. 13, a 103-94 victory over Terrafirma, the FiberXers reverted to their losing ways and got taken down by the Meralco Bolts last Sunday 105-99. 

Converge import Jamil Wilson only had 13 points in over 40 minutes on the floor, going 4/18 from the field and 1/9 from deep. That’s a fireable performance by a reinforcement, but the FiberXers might just have to stick with him considering their record and number of games left. Converge, which lost key players Maverick Ahanmisi and Jeron Teng before this conference, still has great local talents in Alec Stockton and Justin Arana, who played great in the Meralco game, combining for 26 points.  For what it’s worth, Converge has won two of its last three meetings with the Hotshots, dating back to June 2022.


Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots (8-1)

Projected Starting Five:

  •  Paul Lee 
  • Jiovani Jalalon
  • Tyler Bey
  • James Laput
  • Rafi Reavis

After getting stunned by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in a provincial game last Saturday, the Hotshots flexed their muscles and crushed the hapless Dyip on Wednesday, 104-91. Import Tyler Bey paced Magnolia with 25 points to go with 12 rebounds, while Ian Sangalang and Paul Lee had 18 and 16 points, respectively. 

Lee hit 5 of his 7 attempts from behind the arc, and he might have that form again versus Converge, which just allowed Meralco to drain 17 triples. But as always, Magnolia’s defense will be a tough challenge for opposing teams, especially for one like Converge, which is last in the league in offensive rating (100.3). Conversely, the Hotshots are No. 1 in the PBA with just 97.3 points allowed per 100 possessions. That sounds like a highly favorable matchup for Magnolia. 


Spread: Magnolia (-14) covers the spread. 

Over/Under: The total (196.0) hits the Over.