In the spotlight
Columbian will be taking a heap of positives when it opens its PBA Governors’ Cup campaign against a new-look Alaska side on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
But Johnedel Cardel, whose charges put together a handful of gallant stands against league heavyweights in the previous conference, assured that they look to assert themselves even more as they gun for a deeper run this time out.
“They’re relatively new,” he said of the Aces, who are now mentored by Jeffrey Cariaso, who in the past also called the shots for crowd darling Barangay Ginebra. “We won’t take it for granted. Cariaso is Cariaso.”
“But we’re ready to compete. We’ve been practicing our bodies, our minds, hard every day,” said the Dyip coach, who will be expecting a more aggressive CJ Perez and import Khapri Alston to lead his crack crew of youngsters in the conference’s first game that tips off at 4:30 p.m.
NorthPort, like Columbian, is also expecting to get the goods from its young leader in Robert Bolick when it looks to improve on its previous campaign.
The Batang Pier take on Rain or Shine in the 7 p.m. game, where Bolick—after a similarly impressive World Cup showing like Perez—will be leading NorthPort’s crack locals in teaming up with Mychal Ammons.
NorthPort will be coming off a franchise-best second-place finish in the eliminations of the Commissioner’s Cup, though coach Pido Jarencio would be thrilled if they will be able to make it out of the quarterfinals this time.
And Bolick will be relied upon heavily here.
“He knows this team very well so it won’t be that much to adjust to upon his return to the team,” Jarencio said of his prized rookie. “We expect that he’s going to help in a lot.”
The Elasto Painters will parade import Joel Wright.
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