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PBA: Governor's Cup | NLEX Road Warriors vs Magnolia Hotshots | 16 February, 6:45 PM (PST)

Mary C

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PBA Governor's Cup 2023


NLEX Road Warriors vs Magnolia Hotshots

When the Hotshots and the NLEX Road Warriors square off in the PBA Governors' Cup on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, it could be an explosive matchup as Hester tries to maintain his perfect run with Magnolia and Selden tries to recover from a disastrous PBA debut. The locals are also anticipated to contribute, as the opposing teams hope to be in a better position halfway through their elimination campaigns. The Road Warriors is 4-1 and haven't lost since an endgame collapse on Selden's league debut against the Barangay Ginebra Kings on February 8. The Hotshots are 2-3 and have won their first two games with Hester.

Hester, a PBA veteran who is replacing Eric McCree, expressed his happiness to be of assistance to the Hotshots and pledged to do his part to help the team advance to the postseason. While Jonathon Simmons, the team's original import, has since returned to his team in the Chinese Basketball League, Selden is focusing on an immediate goal of helping the Road Warriors get back on track following that embarrassing 114-111 loss to Ginebra. It was the team's first defeat following a four-game winning streak with Simmons.

Selden said shortly after his unsuccessful PBA debut, "I got a responsibility to the team, to the staff, to the coaches to be as good as I can be. Be a leader. Got a little tired down the stretch (against Ginebra), but it is no excuse. The next game, I'll have more energy, for sure. The NBA veteran actually had a strong performance, scoring 43 points while adding seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals that the Gin Kings used to steal the game with a 13-3 run.

Selden said, "We just had to make stops down the stretch because we missed opportunities to get stops. Selden and his teammates, however, are up against an inspired squad in their attempt to rebound from this loss. "Gave up a couple threes. We got to be better to close the game. We got to be able to finish the game. We ran out of gas. We'll be better next game," Selden said. After two straight victories, the most recent one coming against Clasico rivals Ginebra Kings, Hester and the Hotshots are in a good mood. With a nearly wire-to-wire dominance highlighted by Hester's 28-18-9 point-rebound-assist total and strong performances from Mark Barroca, Calvin Abueva, and Paul Lee, Magnolia punctured the Ginebra bubble. 

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