PBA: Magnolia set to assess McCree with Hester reportedly on standby

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2023 11:37 AM | Updated as of Feb 06 2023 11:43 AM

The Magnolia Hotshots may wind up replacing import The Magnolia Hotshots after just three games. PBA Images
The Magnolia Hotshots may wind up replacing import The Magnolia Hotshots after just three games. PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- The Magnolia Hotshots will assess the performance of import Erik McCree Monday as the team's coaching staff mulls a change of imports. 

McCree has not played up to par for the Hotshots in the 2023 PBA Governors' Cup, where they currently have a 0-3 win-loss record. The import is putting up 21.0 points, 13.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game for Magnolia.

He struggled mightily in their 100-98 loss to San Miguel on Sunday night, mustering just 13 points on 4-of-18 shooting from the field. He made just one of 10 three-pointers in a 45-minute stint.

"Siguro, tingnan 'yung performance niya. This is the time na we need to think also. Pag-uusapan ng mga coaches. Tingnan natin," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero, who did not commit to replacing McCree immediately.

"Our next game is on Friday," he said. "So we'll try to assess him within the next 24 hours, and then we will decide if we will stay with him or if we will change the import."

Sports website Spin has reported that Antonio Hester, who previously played for TerraFirma in the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup, has already been tapped as Magnolia's replacement import. Hester averaged 28.3 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game in 11 appearances for the Dyip in 2021.

Asked if Magnolia already had a replacement on standby, Victolero said: "No comment pa. Titingnan muna natin in the next 24 hours."

McCree actually started his Magnolia stint on a strong note, putting up 38 points and 16 rebounds in a close loss to Converge. But he scored just 12 points as the Hotshots fell to TNT in their second game, and couldn't make up for it against the Beermen where once again struggled with his shooting.

"'Yung breaks ng game, hindi napunta sa amin. So ganoon lang 'yun," Victolero said of their latest loss, where they nearly erased a 10-point deficit in the final quarter only to fall short anew. 

"But at least we have a chance. 'Yun lang naman ang gusto namin. And, we will try again on our next game," he added.

Magnolia plays Phoenix Super LPG on Friday, February 10, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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