Bay Area coach Brian Goorjian is yet to meet Magnolia mentor Chito Victolero in the Dragons’ continued appearance in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
But the Australian national coach admitted to admiring Victolero’s coaching talent, as evidenced by what the former PBA Coach of the Year did with Magnolia at the mid-season conference.
“Coach (Victolero) I would name others. I don’t know him, but I was impressed with what he is doing with his team,” Goorjian said on Sunday night.
Goorjian, 69, will face Victolero, who is 23 years younger than the foreign coach when their respective teams face off next Saturday at Philsports Arena in a titanic match.
Magnolia continues to lead the tournament with a 7-1 record, its only loss coming at the hands of fierce rival Barangay Ginebra last month.
Bay Area, meanwhile, is tied with Converge for second and third in the standings with their similar 8-2 records. The Dragons have already secured a quarterfinal berth after their 118-98 demolition of the NLEX Road Warriors on Sunday night.
Six-time NBL champion Goorjian looks forward to their matchup with the Hotshots, knowing they’ll be up against a high-quality PBA ball club.
“It will give us a good indication of where we are heading into the playoffs. What we need to work on and what we are good at, where we are sitting because we are playing the best,” shared Goorjian, the man in charge. to guide the Australian men’s team to a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year.
With Magnolia having suffered just one loss in eight games, Goorjian is confident Bay Area will have to bring this A game to Saturday’s brawl.
“They (Hotshots) play good basketball, everywhere. They move the ball and they have good players,” Goorjian said. “And we’re going to have to play good basketball to win.”
The Dragons are on a tear however with the returning import Myles Powell dropping 50 and 36 points, respectively in their lopsided victories over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and Road Warriors.
Bay Area smothered ROS by 33 points with Powell making 11 three-pointers, followed by a 20-point dumping from NLEX.