Who can stop SMB? | Inquirer Sports

Who can stop SMB?

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 11:06 PM November 19, 2016

San Miguel Beermen. PBA IMAGES

San Miguel Beermen. PBA IMAGES

San Miguel Beer will come into the PBA Philippine Cup not just as the defending champion, but the consensus team to beat as well.

And even though the first basket in the 42nd Season of Asia’s pioneering pro league has yet to be taken, this batch of Beermen is already tipped as the title-favorite.


With June Mar Fajardo strong, healthy and ripe for a fourth straight Most Valuable Player award, and his support cast getting stronger in the off-season, comparisons are, this early, being made with the 1989 San Miguel team that completed a Grand Slam.


For one, San Miguel got a potentially reliable backup for Fajardo in Arnold Van Opstal.

It also strengthened its guard rotation by acquiring RR Garcia, making what already stands as a side fit to be called an All-Star team even better.

While San Miguel undoubtedly got stronger on paper, the other squads that challenged the Beermen in the last two seasons remained the same. One even got significantly weaker.

Rain or Shine ended a six-year relationship with Yeng Guiao and gave away two vital components of the squad that made nine straight Final Four appearances and won two championships.

Alaska failed to get a significant talent from the rookie pool, which it could build its team around for the future.

Star, which clashes with San Miguel in the only game slated at 6:15 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum today, is also not getting any younger. In fact, it just started rebuilding its core around Paul Lee after letting go of two-time MVP James Yap.


Only defunct Crispa was able to complete two Triple Crown sweeps and only four teams have pulled off the trick in the first 41 years of the PBA.

With right coaching, and if the injury bug doesn’t bite any of San Miguel’s stars, this Beermen crew definitely deserves comparisons to the 1989 team headed by four-time MVP Ramon Fernandez and coached by Norman Black.

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TAGS: Beermen, PBA Philippine Cup, San Miguel, SMB

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