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Magnolia Hotshots optimistic on PBA season opener

The Star Hotshots will carry the Magnolia Chicken brand in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season-opener Philippine Cup.

The announcement was made by San Miguel Purefoods Company, Inc. President Francisco Alejo III during a recent press conference at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

“We are honored that Magnolia Chicken will now be carried by one of the PBA’s top teams, the most recent winner of a Grand Slam in 2014. Starting this season, the team will be known as Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok,” said Alejo in a statement.

“We trust that the team’s winning culture will further bolster Magnolia Chicken as a brand, not only to its existing market but also other untapped and less developed markets as well through an established league like the PBA,” he further said.

The team is one of the “winningest” in the PBA with 13 titles, including a grand slam in 2014.

Two newcomers, Rob Herndon and Gwynne Capacio, are joining the team composed of Marc Pingris, Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Ian Sangalang, PJ Simon, Aldrech Ramos, Justin Melton, Jio Jalalon, Kyle Pascual, Rome dela Rosa, Rafi Reavis, Bambam Gamalinda, Mon Abundo and Rodney Bondial.

“We want to build on what we achieved last season in terms of team chemistry and we aspire to be a serious contender for the title this coming Philippine Cup,” said head coach Chito Victolero.

“This team has a solid mix of experience and youth and I believe that we have gained much from last few conferences. We hope to help Magnolia Chicken expand its market through our team’s performance this season,” Victolero added.

The other members of the coaching staff are Johnny Abarrientos, Jason Webb, Tony Boy Espinosa, Itoy Esguerra, Paul Sorongon, Juno Sauler and Mon Jose. Rene Pardo is the team governor while Alvin Patrimonio serves as team manager. PNA

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