After being unable to suit up last conference, Magnolia expects big man Russel Escoto to play in the upcoming 2021 PBA Governors Cup.
Escoto remains in recovery after undergoing shoulder surgery that prevented him from taking part in the 2021 All-Filipino Conference, as per Hotshots coach Chito Victolero.
Prior to the league’s 46th season, the 14-time PBA champs acquired the Pampanga native from Terrafirma in exchange for a 2022 second-round pick.
Escoto last played for San Miguel in the Clark bubble, where he averaged 2.3 points and 3.2 rebounds in 12 minutes of playing time. He was then shipped to the Dyip as a part of the controversial trade that sent CJ Perez to the Beermen.
Victolero said they intend to convert Calvin Abueva to the no. 3 position when the 28-year-old forward returns.
“Kailangan pa namin ng isang malaki para kahit paano madagdagan yung ceiling namin,” said the Magnolia mentor,” said the 45-year-old tactician.
“Right now, si Calvin (Abueva) plays 4 most of the time, but if we convert him sa 3 together with Rome (dela Rosa), we have a good chance,” he added.
Even though it’s not yet clear whether the Hotshots will trade Escoto or not, Victolero said that the former FEU Tamaraw is a ‘good addition’ for the Hotshots as they plan to bounce back after the heartbreaking defeat to TNT in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
“Russel is a good addition to the team. He’s 6-foot-6 and can contribute doon sa rebounding and at the same time, he spreads the floor because of his offense, yung outside shots niya,” he said. “But he still needs to get his timing kasi more than a year na siyang hindi naglalaro.”