Photo from PBA

Magnolia Pambansang Manok shoots for a perfect 5-0 record against skidding NLEX before a returning audience Wednesday, Feb. 16 in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Hotshots face the Road Warriors in the 3 p.m. opener before the San Miguel Beermen parade new import Orlando Johnson opposite the struggling TNT Tropang Giga at 6 p.m.

It will be the first doubleheader since the restart to be held before fans after the league opted to stage last week’s games under a closed-door setup.

Same arrangements implemented in December when the Big Dome permitted the public to watch the games under a 50-percent capacity will be observed.

Fans must present a proof showing they have been fully vaccinated plus a government-issued ID in order to witness the games in person.

Those who can enter will see a Magnolia side that has not lost a step even after a 47-day break due to last month’s COVID-19 surge.

Last Friday, the Hotshots led by 19 in the opening period before off the Tropang Giga’s comeback in the fourth for a 96-93 win.

Import Mike Harris once again led the charge in Magnolia’s triumph that further enhanced its status as one of the prime contenders in the season-ending tournament.

But the Hotshots are expected to play minus Calvin Abueva, who hurt his calf against the Tropang Giga and could be out for 2-4 weeks.

NLEX carries a 4-2 record but has lost its last two games, including a 110-100 setback to Meralco.

Worse, the Road Warriors are dealing with injuries to rookie Calvin Oftana (hand) and Tony Semerad (calf).

Meanwhile, Johnson begins his second tour of duty in the PBA as the Beermen try to improve on their 3-2 slate.

Johnson, who played for Barangay Ginebra in the 2015 Governors’ Cup, was brought by SMB as a replacement for Brandon Brown.

TNT is smarting from back-to-back defeats, the recent was a heartbreaking 93-92 outcome to Phoenix Super LPG when Matthew Wright scored a layup with one second left after stealing the ball from Jayson Castro.

The Tropang Giga, who are without injured stars RR Pogoy and Poy Erram, have a 2-4 slate going into the third of a hectic four-game schedule in seven days.

Source: Manila Bulletin (