|Rakeem Christmas is suiting up for the Hotshots.|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—Christmas has arrived for Magnolia.
No, not the holiday, but someone named "Christmas".
The Hotshots tapped the services of former NBA player Rakeem Christmas ahead of their huge PBA Commissioner's Cup game against the TNT KaTropa on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
Christmas replaced James Farr as Magnolia's import as the team looks to check a three-game slide that relegated the squad from a team chasing a once-to-win advantage in the quarterfinals into a club in danger of falling to the once-to-win disadvantage.
While Farr helped the Hotshots get into the groove after a sluggish start, they suffered tough defeats to the Blackwater Elite, Barangay Ginebra, and the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters, putting them in a must-win scenario against the KaTropa in hopes of making the Top 6 entering the quarterfinals.
[Related Story: What's on the line for SMB, Meralco, Magnolia, TNT entering final twinbill of PBA Comm Cup elims]
Following a stellar senior season for Syracuse in the 2015 US NCAA season, Christmas was selected in the second round of the NBA Draft of the same year.
During his two-season stint with Indiana, Christmas bounced around with the NBA squad and its G-League affiliate Fort Wayne.
After the Pacers released him, Christmas immediately signed with Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray, but he left the team after just three months.
He then found his way to New Zealand, signing up for the country's National Basketball League side for the rest of the 2018 season, helping the club reach the semifinals.
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