MANILA, Philippines – Chemistry is essential for a basketball team that wants to go deep into the championship.
Luckily for Magnolia. they have plenty of chemistry with import Tyler Bey in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
When Mark Barroca was asked who Bey’s “best friend” is on the Hotshots, the veteran guard quickly responded that they are all close to the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft.
“Oh, everyone. Everyone,” Barroca said in Filipino after scoring 17 points in the team’s 112-74 victory over Northport at Araneta Coliseum on Friday.
“We actually joke and talk a lot in our free time. When we’re in the PT (physical therapist) room, the same thing happens, that’s how we build chemistry.
Bey played on the Hotshots’ offensive line in the victory, scoring 25 points and eight rebounds. He certainly had team cohesion in mind as well, providing a total of six assists.
“He is really important to us. He is a new player who has come into our system because he is half of our team. We have good chemistry in our team because involving him in our plans and fun is a huge thing for us. Us [locals], we’ve been together for a long time so we know what to do, but with Tyler it’s different. He doesn’t know any other moves, maybe because his game abroad is different than here,” the point guard said in Filipino.
As if that wasn’t enough proof of how good the team is at communicating and using their talents, five players scored double-digit points for coach Chito Victolero, boasting a balanced effort from all Magnolia players.
According to Barroka, the conversations behind the scenes and in the locker room strengthen the Hotshots’ chemistry.
“It is [jokes and talks] where chemistry is built, not just who treats whom. We talk a lot and have a lot of fun, and now we are close friends even off the basketball court.
“This makes learning chemistry quick.”
Good, but it can still be better
While Magnolia is doing well in the conference so far with an unimpeded record through three games, Victolero is still looking for further improvements from the former Dallas Maverick.
“Chemistry-wise, he does well with the team and gets along well with Tyler,” Victolero praised.
“He helps us a lot offensively and defensively with his energy and athleticism. I think he still needs to improve a few things defensively and match-wise, but he’s doing well. But as far as his progress is concerned, it’s better if he can do it quickly.
Through three conference games, Bey boasts stats of 29.3 points, 14.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game, showcasing his ability both defensively and offensively.
But Bey’s talent and composure will be put to a greater test on Sunday when the Hotshots take on Barangay Ginebra in the latest chapter of the “Manila Clasico.”