• Batang Pier face Beermen tonight

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    GlobalPort, Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Mahindra are all eyeing for a third victory when they meet their respective foes today in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

    The GlobalPort Batang Pier, coming off a back-to-back win will face the Philippine Cup back-to-back champions San Miguel Beermen at 7 p.m. while the NLEX Road Warriors meet the Mahindra Enforcers in the first game at 4:15 p.m.

    “Our original import Brian Wil¬liams was not enough in terms of performance. [Calvin] Warner, for his part, has the desire and intensity that we need. He is a true hardworking import” coach Pido Jarencio told The Manila Times in an interview.”

    “I believe we can beat San Miguel Beer but we have to execute consistently well defensively and offensively.”

    Despite posting mere 11 points and 21 rebounds last Friday; Warner’s presence in the shaded lane was instrumental to the Batang Pier’s 108-101 victory over the struggling Tropang Texters on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

    “It feels great to be back,” Warner told reporters during the game against Talk ‘N Text. “I hope we continue our progress and we need to help each other as a family.”

    GlobalPort is also banking on Terrence Romeo, last year’s Rookie of the Year Stanley Pringle, Joseph Yeo, veteran power forward Anthony Jay Washington, swingman Keith Jensen, center Billy Mamaril, and Rico Mairehofer in their battle against the formidable Beermen.

    San Miguel Beer, which was defeated 96-102 by Mahindra in Biñan, Laguna last Saturday is keen to redeem its winning form. Import Tyler Wilkerson, who finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in the match against Mahindra is expected to lead the Beermen against Globalport with the support of local players Arwind Santos, June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, Mario Lassiter, Chris Lutz, Chris Ross and Ronald Tubid.

    The NLEX Road Warriors, meanwhile, are aiming to repeat their impressive performance against the Star Hotshots when they battle the Mahindra Enforcers.

    NLEX is presently holding a 2-1 win-loss record.

    Down by as many as 10 points, the Road Warriors initiated a blazing fourth quarter rally led by import Al Thornton and rookie Garvo Lanete to beat the Hotshots 106-99.

    Besides Thornton and Lanete, Paul Asi Taulava, Kevin Alas, Jonas Villanueva, Simon Enciso, Enrico Villanueva and Sean Anthony are also expected step up for NLEX.

    “Mahindra had been playing really well as of late, they had been shooting well from the outside and they are really playing well as a team,” NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said via text message. “We have to bring our defensive mentality if we want to win against Mahindra. Our import [Thornton] and their import [Augustus Gilchrist] is a good match up.”

    The Enforcers, the Batang Pier and the Road Warriors are all carrying similar 2-1 win-loss records.

    JOSEF T. RAMOS

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