Beermen, Painters shoot for 2nd win
ANTIPOLO—All the highly touted members of this year’s batch of rookies have played— and showed what they are capable of—save for Arnold Van Opstal.
The 6-foot-8 Van Opstal, who was picked by San Miguel Beer from the Gilas Cadet pool, cooled his heels in the inaugurals of PBA Season 42 when coach Leo Austria said that “we will only use the players we need” in a close win over Star.
Facing Phoenix Petroleum at 7 p.m. today in the Philippine Cup eliminations at Ynares Center here, Van Opstal certainly is wishing that the multititled Austria finds a need for him against the Fuel Masters.
Labeled as the chief back-up to reigning three-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, Van Opstal had to content himself watching the veterans play in a 94-88 win over the Hotshots that set the Beermen’s title defense in motion.
Austria said that “we needed to win this game badly” and that, despite the credentials of Van Opstal and another rookie, Rashawn McCarthy, and how well they practiced, that he only went for his tested veterans like Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, etc.
“Pasensya na lang sila (I’m just sorry for them),” Austria said.
Rain or Shine, like San Miguel, will also be shooting for a second straight victory and a piece of the early lead with idle Blackwater, when the Elasto Painters battle weakened Mahindra in the 4:15 p.m. tiff.
The Painters pipped TNT KaTropa last week and are installed as solid picks over the Floodbuster, who dealt away key players in strange trades in the off-season and took a beating from GlobalPort a week ago.
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