New Star Hotshots coach Chito Victolero said that his wards would use a defensive strategy in the Season 42 of the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup that begins November 20.
Victolero, former coach of Mahindra, replaced former Jason Webb as Hotshots coach. He said that the addition of new recruits Jiovanni Jalalon, the 6’7 Aldrech Ramos, Chris Javier and guard Paul Lee would fortify the team.
“We have a new system and that’s defense. Since from the very start of my coaching career, defense is the main part of my system,” Victolero told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “Because defense wins championships. I’m really happy that they gave me the opportunity to coach the Star Hotshots.”
Victolero said that former Arellano ace point guard Jalalon is expected to boost the Hotshots’ backcourt capability with support from Mark Barroca, Peter June Simon and Justin Melton.
“I’m very excited to coach Jalalon. I believe that he can help the team,” added Victolero. “I will also talk to Paul Lee regarding his new role. It is not only our offense that we should work on. We have to develop our solid interior and backcourt defense too.”
Victolero was also happy to have Ramos from Mahindra.
“He (Ramos) is one of the players that I really like and I’m happy to get him again,” he said. “The six-foot-seven Ramos will give us the ceiling and at the same time his shooting prowess from beyond the arc is absolutely a good asset.”
Swingman Allein Maliksi is expected to become the Star Hotshots’ go-to-guy besides Lee.
“Javier, our pick in the regular draft, is a big boost to our front court,” said Victolero. “He will be there to support other big men Rafi Reavis, Ian Sanggalang, Jake Pascual and Jean Marc Pingris.”
The Hotshots finished ninth during the Philippine Cup, eighth in the Commissioner’s Cup and 11th in the Governor’s Cup under Webb. They tallied a 12-24 win-loss record in Season 41.
Victolero played for Mapua during his collegiate hoops career before joining the San Juan Knights in the now defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association. He became a member of Sta. Lucia Realty and FedEx in the PBA from the late 1990’s to early 2000’s.
He was Mapua coach from 2009 to 2012.
JOSEF T. RAMOS