Defending champion San Miguel Beer tries to stay undefeated and stay on top as it battles Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) today in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 43 Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Coming from an impressive 88-76 win over TNT KaTropa last Saturday in Iloilo City, the Beermen aim for their fourth consecutive victory versus the slumping Road Warriors at 7 p.m.
In the opener, Blackwater and GlobalPort collide at 4:30 p.m.
San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria said NLEX remains dangerous despite losing its last two games after a 2-0 start.
“After the two losses of NLEX, I think they will step up (against us) because they really want to bounce back. They will exert more effort to be competitive and beat us. We really need to work hard because NLEX is really a dangerous team,” said Austria, whose squad is the remaining unbeaten team in the tournament.
Four-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo is averaging 23 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks while Arwind Santos is supporting him with 12.3 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest.
Despite Kiefer Ravena’s career-high of 31 points, NLEX still lost to Phoenix, 95-102, for its second straight defeat to drop to 2-2 in the team standings.
Meanwhile, Batang Pier seek their second straight win against the Elite, who are coming from an 83-92 loss to the KaTropa last Wednesday.
GlobalPort finally barged into the win column after a 0-2 start, beating Rain or Shine, 78-70, behind the 29 points and nine rebounds output of Stanley Pringle.
Kelly Nabong had a double-double game with 12 points and 13 rebounds while Sean Anthony tallied the same effort with 13 rebounds and 12 assists in their win over the Elasto Painters.
JOSEF T. RAMOS