Ginebra brings back Chris Alexander, battles Petron Blaze
Chris Alexander, the central figure in the Gin Kings’ last championship during the 2008-09 season, will take on Petron’s Nicolas Ryan Fazekas as both teams begin their campaign in the import-flavored conference at 6:30 Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Aside from the 7-foot-1 Alexander, Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen will be testing a couple of vital pieces on board—power forward Kerby Raymundo and rookie forward Dylan Ababou.
The Gins gave up wingmen Ronald Tubid and JC Intal to free up Ginebra’s congested backcourt in acquiring Raymundo and Ababou.
“It would be interesting to see how we measure up to one of the top teams in the league,” said Tanquingcen. “Cohesion will be crucial for us, especially with the new guys that we have.”
Rain Or Shine will parade the shortest import in 6-foot-8 Duke Crews when the Elasto Painters kick off their bid against the Alaska Aces in the other game at 4:15 p.m.
Crews, 24, played for Tennessee and Bowie State in the NCAA but his college averages of 5.4 points and four rebounds per game weren’t plus factors at all.
But the 235-pound Crews could be a diamond in the rough that coach Yeng Guiao can’t wait to test against the Aces, who lost the opener to Barako Bull by a mile, 98-78, despite having one of the tallest imports in seven-footer Adam Parada.
The Aces, retaining their core of LA Tenorio, Sonny Thoss, Cyrus Baguio, Jay-R Reyes and rookie Mac Baracael, suddenly lost the will to fight in the third quarter, allowing the Energy to dump points on them for long stretches.
Barangay Ginebra is trying to get everyone on the same page before anything else.
“We need to get everyone together. It’s hard if you don’t have chemistry,” said Ginebra’s Mark Caguioa. “Our import is not yet in top condition. Hopefully, he’ll get into shape.”
The 6-foot-11 Fazekas, who registered imposing figures while playing for University of Nevada, is expected to further boost a Petron roster that’s still awaiting the result of the pending Marcio Lassiter deal.
The Boosters are waiting for the Commissioner’s Office to approve a deal that will ship Nonoy Baclao and Rey Guevarra to Powerade in exchange for the former Smart Gilas wingman.