PBA Governors' Cup

Free agent pickup Adrian Wong shining for shorthanded Magnolia

Delfin Dioquino
Free agent pickup Adrian Wong shining for shorthanded Magnolia

STEP UP. Adrian Wong has been key to Magnolia staying undefeated in the PBA Governors' Cup.

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With Calvin Abueva and Rome dela Rosa injured, recent Magnolia pickup Adrian Wong has taken advantage of his increased role for the Hotshots

MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia picked up Adrian Wong from the free agent market for the primary reason of defense.

Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero figured that Wong fits the bill of a defensive cog – the 6-foot-3 winger is tall for a guard and athletic.

But Wong has delivered beyond expectations as Magnolia stayed unbeaten in six games in the PBA Governors’ Cup following a 103-83 mauling of Phoenix on Saturday, February 19.

Relishing another starting role, Wong netted a career-high 18 points after draining 6 three-pointers on a scintillating 85% clip to go with 2 rebounds and 2 assists.

“I’m very happy for Adrian because this was his breakout game on his third year,” said Victolero in a mix of Filipino and English.

“We asked him to play defense, we asked him to guard the best player on the other side, the best player is Matthew Wright, and he did a good job. His scoring is probably just a bonus.”

Victolero admitted the original plan for Wong when the team signed him earlier this month after his contract with Rain or Shine expired was for him to slowly learn the ropes from the Hotshots’ veterans.

But Victolero needed to throw Wong into the fire as Magnolia saw its small forward rotation get crippled with Calvin Abueva and Rome dela Rosa getting injured.

So far, the former Ateneo standout has risen to the occasion.

In his two starts for the Hotshots, Wong averaged 13 points as he sank a total of 8 triples in 10 attempts – a staggering 80% conversion rate.

Before joining Magnolia, Wong normed just 1.6 points in five games this conference for the Elasto Painters.

“We do not have Calvin and Rome and he filled the spot. That is what we talked about: next man up,” Victolero said.

“This is the result of his extra work in practice.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.