Same old contenders for PBA Philippine Cup | Inquirer Sports

Same old contenders for PBA Philippine Cup

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 09:39 PM September 29, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Basketball Association opens its 37th Season on Sunday with the same teams listed as favorites headed by Talk ‘N Text, which is boosting its stock with Japeth Aguilar.

Aguilar, the 6-foot-9 beanpole who played collegiate ball with Western Kentucky in the US NCAA, will play his first full season as a pro with the Tropang Texters, who came within two wins of pulling off a grand slam last year.

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Aguilar was picked first overall by Burger King three years ago but held out and was later traded to Talk ‘N Text.

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“With Japeth joining the squad, we are looking forward to another great season,” Pato Gregorio, the alternate member of the board for the PLDT franchise, told reporters during the launch on Thursday at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.

Petron Blaze, the squad that fought tooth-and-nail to hold off the Talk ‘N Text grand slam bid in the Governors’ Cup, remains a powerhouse even without Jay Washington and Rabeh Al-Hussaini.

And B-Meg, which will be coached for the first time by the multi-titled Tim Cone, is listed as one of the teams to beat with the compliment of a complete, healthy lineup.

“I can’t be modest, we have a strong lineup,” said Rene Pardo, the former chair and B-Meg board member, during the launch.

The Llamados will welcome back Kerby Raymundo and former Rookie of the Year Rico Maierhofer into the lineup.

B-Meg will continue to be led by two-time MVP James Yap and gunslinger Peter June Simon, who will play under the triangle offense for the first time under Cone.

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“Sheer talent alone can bring us to victory,” Pardo said, as his squad debuts on Friday against the rock-solid Boosters at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.

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Rain or Shine clashes with Barangay Ginebra in the only game scheduled on Sunday at 6 p.m. with the Gin Kings also to play under a new coach in the returning Siot Tanquingcen vice Jong Uichico.

The Texters and Aguilar, who completed two years of national duty with the Smart-Gilas program, will see action on Friday against sister squad Meralco.

TAGS: Basketball, Japeth Aguilar, PBA, Sports, Talk N Text Tropang Texters

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