Frontrunner Patriots try to end jinx vs Beermen
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE AIRASIA Philippine Patriots and San Miguel Beermen clash for the third time in the third Asean Basketball League season tonight.
But the two teams will offer each other a far different look than their two previous meetings in their 6 p.m. battle at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The Patriots, already assured of a semifinal berth, parade a new import in 7-footer Chris Alexander, while the Beermen get to finally field Fil-American guard Chris Banchero, who was given the green light by the league.
Aside from Alexander, the Patriots added veteran guard Kiko Adriano to the mix, while the Beermen tapped Roger Yap and ex-PBA imports Nick Fazekas and Duke Crews in the weeks after their highly physical duel last month.
Alexander arrived Thursday night from the United States. But he is no stranger to Philippine basketball, having played for Ginebra as early as last month in the PBA, before he was surprisingly replaced by Jackson Vroman.
“We’re going to make a few adjustments but we hope that he makes an immediate impact,” said coach Glenn Capacio of Alexander, the last import to help Ginebra win a title in the PBA, who replaces Nakeia Miller in the lineup.
“Our main objective to become a better team as the season winds down,” said coach Glenn Capacio. “But we haven’t won against San Miguel and we want to prove that we can beat them.”
The Beermen remain the only team to have beaten the Patriots, who have a 13-2 record. San Miguel is in second with a 12-4 card, a win away from sealing its place in the semifinals.
The last meeting between the two teams was marred by a bench-clearing brawl that resulted in the suspensions of the Patriots’ Anthony Johnson, Ardy Larong and Erick Rodriguez and the Beermen’s Aries Dimaunahan and Junjun Cabatu. Cedelf P. Tupas