For the first time since the 1980s, the PBA will be having a gameday at Rizal Memorial Coliseum with a doubleheader scheduled this Saturday, including the matchup between the struggling Converge FiberXers and the well-rested Magnolia Chicken Hotshots Timplados. Will Converge finally make that connection to the win column? Or, will Magnolia secure a victory right out of the gate?

Catch this game live on Saturday,  March 16 at 6:15 pm, Manila time.

Converge FiberXers (0-4)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Alec Stockton
  • King Caralipio
  • Bryan Santos
  • Justin Arana
  • John De Los Santos

The FiberXers are still winless in the conference. In their last outing, Converge got lit up by Robert Bolick for 46 points in a 115-93 loss to the NLEX Road Warriors. It seems that Converge doesn’t have enough firepower on offense, as they are just ninth in the league so far in the Philippine Cup with only 93.5 points per game. 

However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have the weapons to cobble up a good offensive showing. Alec Stockton and Justin Arana are averaging 20.5 and 20.3 points, respectively. Stockton is also shooting 57.4 percent from the floor and 54.5 percent from deep. Where the FiberXers fall short often is when it comes to sharing the leather, as evidenced by the fact that they are last in the PBA with a dismal 51.5 percent assist rate. 


Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots (0-0)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Paul Lee
  • Jio Jalalon
  • Rome dela Rosa
  • Calvin Abueva
  • Ian Sangalang

Magnolia will have to shrug off the rust, as the Timplados are about to make their debut in the conference, weeks after they finished runner-up to the San Miguel Beermen in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. Despite that loss to the Beermen, Magnolia is still a stacked squad anchored by great coaching and solid vets, led by Paul Lee, who averaged 11.8 points per game in the import-laced Commissioner’s Cup. 

However, it’s actually Mark Barroca, who led all Magnolia locals that conference with 13.2 points per outing. In any case, the Hotshots are a major threat on both ends of the floor, based on their performances in the last conferences. During the Commissioner’s Cup, the Hotshots were also second overall in Efficiency Differential (5.8). Their defense has always been stout under Chito Victolero and their offense can always shine, particularly against teams like Converge, which owns the worst defense rating (112.3) among teams who have played a game this conference. 


Spread: Magnolia (-15.0) covers the spread.

Over/Under: The total (190.0) hits the Under.