Powerhouse Mixers, Boosters battle it outBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SAN MIG Coffee tries to stay unbeaten while testing Petron Blaze’s newfound cohesion when both powerhouses clash today in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game is set at 6:35 p.m. with the Mixers, formerly the B-Meg Llamados, shooting for a second straight victory against a Petron side that broke into the win column last Wednesday opposite Barako Bull.
Petron struggled big time in its opening game and lost lopsidedly to Rain or Shine. Against the Mixers, the Boosters will be clashing with a foe that is as strong—if not stronger—which could put their character to the test again.
The Boosters, with new coach Olsen Racela and Serbian consultant Rajko Toroman both calling the shots, notched a first win against the Energy.
Several Petron superstars have yet to truly play great. One of them, Jay Washington, has been given just 19 minutes in each of the first two games.
Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos have been consistent even as top overall Draft pick Jun Mar Fajardo was saddled with foul trouble against the Energy and played just over a quarter.
San Mig is a squad that has a little of everything in its roster, with two-time MVP James Yap expected to again carry most of the offensive burden and the likes of Rafi Reavis and Marc Pingris taking care of the 6-foot-10 Fajardo underneath.
Meanwhile, Barako Bull tries to pin a third straight loss on Alaska in the 4:15 p.m. curtain-raiser.
Barako Bull stayed toe-to-toe with the Boosters last Wednesday and is installed as the slight pick against the Aces.
Alaska, a traditional power in the league still adjusting to a coaching change, has been sluggish in its first two outings, with its last loss coming also Wednesday at the hands of Meralco.
The Aces, though, are still without No. 2 Draft pick Calvin Abueva, who is finishing his commitment to San Sebastian in the NCAA, which is in its Final Four stage.