Reigning champion San Miguel Beer is keen to recover from its previous defeat when it meet the Star Hotshots while Phoenix Petroleum and GlobalPort are on a hunt for a first win in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum today.
The Beermen, who lost to the Mahindra Enforcers 103-105, on Wednesday, will face the Hotshots in the second game at 6:30 p.m. after the 4:30 p.m. opening match between the Fuel Masters and the Batang Pier.
“I believe we can bounce back from our recent loss. We just have to believe in our coach’s system,” June Mar Fajardo told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
“They [Star Hotshots] are a strong team. We just have to play better as a team. Star Hotshots’ big men are also competitive and they also have a good import,” added Fajardo, who finished with 13 points in SMB’s game against the Enforcers.
Import Arizona Reid is expected to lead the Beermen anew with the help of guard Marcio Lassiter, Ronald Tubid, Alex Cabagnot, Ryan Arana, Gary David, Jay-R Reyes, Yancy De Ocampo and playmaker Chris Ross.
San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine are both carrying identical 2-1 win-loss records.
The Star Hotshots, on the other hand, will be aiming for a back-to-back win when they face SMB. The crew of rookie coach Jason Webb, with a 1-2 win-loss record, is coming off a 105-102 overtime win against GlobalPort on Sunday.
Import Maquis Blakely will lead the charge supported by veteran two-time Most Valuable Player James Yap, Ian Sanggalang, Peter June Simon, Ryan Roose Garcia, playmaker Mark Andy Barroca, swingman Allein Maliksi and Alex Mallari.
Meanwhile, Phoenix Petroleum that is yet to post a win, will parade its new import, the 6’5 Eugene Phelps.
“Phelps is more of an inside player and we’re confident he can help us,” said Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia in an interview. “We’re down 0-3 but we’re not losing hope. I’m still optimistic of our chances especially that our local players are playing well.”
Vanguardia is referring to Phoenix’s rookie players Norbert Torres and last year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association Finals MVP Mark Cruz, who led the Fuel Masters in the last three games.
“I’m really happy with what I’ve seen so far despite those losses,” added Vanguardia. “GlobalPort is really a strong team. We really need to stop Terrence Romeo, Stanley Pringle and their new import Michael Glover.”
Phoenix absorbed losses from Meralco, San Miguel Beer and Rain or Shine.
The Batang Pier will rely anew on Terrence Romeo, Stanley Pringle, Joseph Yeo, Billy Mamaril, Anthony Semerad, Karl Dehesa, Doug Kramer and new import Michael Glover, who replaced Dominique Sutton.
Glover finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and a block in his debut game against the Star Hotshots. Romeo posted 27 points, six rebounds and six assists also in that game.
GlobalPort, like Phoenix, is still winless in three games.