The Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots will look to regain their footing in the conference before it’s too late, as they take on the surging NorthPort Batang Pier this Wednesday. Will the Hotshots snap out of their spell? Or, will the Batang Pier continue their winning ways?

Catch this game live on Wednesday,  April 10at 7:30 pm, Manila time.

Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots (1-2)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Paul Lee 
  • Jio Jalalon
  • Joseph Eriobu
  • Abu Jahal Tratter
  • James Laput

The Hotshots aren’t so hot these days. Fresh off a Finals appearance in the previous conference, Magnolia is struggling early in its Philippine Cup campaign, having lost two of its first three games. The Hotshots actually started on the right foot with a win over the Converge FiberXers  (106-75), but they then lost consecutively to the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (87-77) and to the NLEX Road Warriors (87-74). 

In the loss to the Road Warriors, Magnolia did not have the services of Calvin Abueva, who served a one-game suspension for his unprofessional behavior in the Ginebra game. He is expected to return to action this Wednesday against the smoking NorthPort squad. Also on the line for the Hotshots is their four-game win streak in their all-time head-to-head versus the Batang Pier. Moreover, the Hotshots have won eight of their last 10 meetings with NorthPort, dating back to the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup. It would greatly help Magnolia as well if Paul Lee breaks out of his slump. The former UE Red Warriors star has shot just 4/22 for 17 points in Magnolia’s last two games.


NorthPort Batang Pier (4-1)

Projected Starting Five:

  • Kris Rosales
  • Joshua Munzon
  • John Calma
  • Arvin Tolentino
  • Benedict Adamos

After starting the conference in a 107-100 loss to NLEX, the Batang Pier found their groove and have not looked back since. The Batang Pier are on an incredible win streak that they stretched to four games after walloping the TNT Tropang Texters in a 112-96 victory last Friday. Arvin Tolentino and the Batang Pier’s offense continue to sizzle. Tolentino had 29 points on 10/17 shooting in the TNT game, while John Calma added 22 points. 

So far in the conference, Tolentino is averaging 24.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per outing. Four other NorthPort players are putting up at least 10 points per game. No wonder NorthPort is leading the league with 107.6 points per contest. The Batang Pier are also not too shabby defensively, as they are second overall with a 101.7 defensive rating. Only the Hotshots have a better dRTG (99.6) than NorthPort, but given the balance of the great balance of their offense and defense, the Batang Pier could win against Magnolia largely on what they could do on either side of the floor this Wednesday.


Spread: NorthPort  (+4)

Over/Under: Under (183.5)