SAN Mig Coffee’s campaign for a third straight championship continues today as it face winless Globalport while Alaska, seeking for a second victory collides with Meralco in the 39th Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Coffee Mixers, fresh from their Philippine Cup triumph, takes on Batang Pier at 8 p.m. following the Alaska and Meralco encounter at 5:45 p.m.
Import James Dixon Mays will see action for the first time after promising another playoff stint for the Coffee Mixers in the second conference of the season.
“I don’t want to guarantee a championship but I know we’ll be in the playoffs. I don’t think there will be a lot of pressure for me to do everything because we got a lot of great players in the team and everybody pretty knows much their roles. I feel like I’m going in as another piece of the puzzle that I hope would be great,” said Mays, a 6’8 forward, who had played in Puerto Rico and China and the earliest import to arrive in the country since January.
Coach Tim Cone starters James Yap, Marc Pingris, Mark Barroca, Peter June Simon and Joe Devance have at least more than five-day rest since their 4-2 victory over Rain or Shine in the finals of the all-Filipino conference. They started practicing with the team on Saturday to prepare for their first game.
Bent on stopping Mays is Globalport 6’8 import Evan Brock, who is still looking for their first victory after losing their opening game to Air 21 Express, 78-83, on March 5, and then to the Alaska Aces, 77-93, on Saturday.
Meanwhile, despite remarkable performance in his first two games, the San Miguel Beermen went on to replace Josh Boone with the 6’8 Kevin Jones, a former West Virginia University standout. The 29-year-old Boone averaged 24 points in two matches with the Beermen capped by a 32-point performance coupled with 21 rebounds against the Ginebra Kings on Sunday.
“We would like to thank Josh Boone for his effort and professionalism. He showed a lot of heart while wearing a Beermen uniform. We look forward to enjoying Josh’s future success as he will always be a member of the Beermen Family,” a statement from the SMB management said.
In another development, the PBA Commissioner’s Office approved the trade involving Alaska’s Aldrich Ramos and Air 21’s Vic Manuel. The 6’6 Ramos is a fifth overall pick of Barako Bull in 2012, while the 6’5 Manuel is ninth overall pick of Globalport in the same year.