Antonio Hester officially replaces Erik McCree as Magnolia’s import

Will Antonio Hester change the fortunes of the struggling Magnolia Hotshots? (

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

One of the most dominant imports in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) will be making a highly-anticipated return after signing with the Magnolia Hotshots Chicken Timplados.

Antonio Hester, the former foreign reinforcement of the Terrafirma Dyip during the last Governor’s Cup, will be replacing Erik McCree and is expected to make his Magnolia debut on February 10, 2023, against the Phoenix Super LPG.

The development was confirmed last February 7, 2023 and was also announced by the Chicken Timplados’ coaching staff.

Magnolia had to make the crucial import switch after a disappointing 0-3 start under the services of McCree.

Despite having decent numbers in his three-game stint, the leftie versatile forward failed to give the Chicken Timplados a win and is now facing one of their worst starts in franchise history.

With Hester set to don the white and blue jersey on Friday, Magnolia is expected to have a more solid frontcourt together with Ian Sangalang and Calvin Abueva.

Hester was a beast when he debuted for Terrafirma and averaged 28.3 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.6 steals during the last edition of the Governor’s Cup.

His impressive outing in the PBA earned him several overseas offers but came back to the PHL when he was tapped by the Zamboanga Valientes team for the ABL Invitational.

Hester continued his dominant showing when he played for Zamboanga and tallied 24.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 2.0 steals in 10 games.

The Chicken Timplados are currently the second-worst team in the ongoing PBA Governor’s Cup while the Rain or Shine Elastopainters and the NorthPort Batang Pier share the last spot with a 0-4 record.