Fajardo, San Miguel Beer take on Elite; TNT battles Meralco
Defending champion San Miguel Beer tries to get back on track after absorbing its first loss last week when it clashes with Blackwater in the PBA Philippine Cup at Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Game time is 7 p.m. with the odds favoring the Beermen, never mind if they are coming off an 84-99 loss to Rain or Shine and the Elite are fresh from a big 92-90 win over Meralco that same Wednesday night.
June Mar Fajardo, the reigning two-time MVP, will be the biggest cause of concern of the Blackwater defense.
In the other game at 4:15 p.m., Talk ‘N Text tries to pin a third straight loss on sister squad Meralco.
Fajardo will be coming off an uninspired 13-point, 10-rebound performance against the Elasto Painters, who gang-defended him the entire night to remain as the only unbeaten side in the 12-team field.
The Elite, meanwhile, finally found the resolve to finish the job against the struggling Bolts.
“We have been competing, and finally, we found a way to win,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac. “I’m happy because it gives us the confidence. Of course, this gives us momentum going into the game against San Miguel.”
With the win over the Bolts, Blackwater snapped a 13-game losing streak in the tournament dating back to last year.
For the Elite to have a chance, they must be able to contain Fajardo the way Rain or Shine used wide-bodied Beau Belga and JR Quiñahan against him while shutting down San Miguel’s vaunted outside gunners led by Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot.
Blackwater big man
JP Erram is Blackwater’s main big man, while veteran point guard Mike Cortez, who arrived in the off-season in a trade with Meralco, has taken over as team leader on the court.
Arwind Santos, another former MVP, is also expected to play a key role on both ends for the Beermen.
Talk ‘N Text, meanwhile, will continue to be without Ranidel de Ocampo, the injured national team stalwart, leaving the big man-chores to rookies Moala Tautuaa and Troy Rosario.
Picked 1-2 in the Draft, Tautuaa and Rosario have a lot of improving to do to satisfy the hype that accompanied their coming to the league.
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