New weapon unveiled
San Miguel Beer gets to test its latest weapon for its Triple Crown bid when it tackles Columbian on Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
The 4-1 Beermen unveil Mo Tautuaa following a trade that shipped another No. 1 overall pick in Christian Standhardinger to NorthPort last week.
“[Coach Leo Austria] wants me to complement June Mar [Fajardo], make sure we can space the floor a little differently for him,” Tautuaa said shortly after the team’s practice on Saturday.
“I think [I’m going] off the bench, as I can tell from practice. But I’m not worried about that,” he added. “What I’m worried about is making sure I fit in and bring what I can to the table.”
The Beermen shoot for a win over the 3-3 Dyip in the 4:30 p.m. contest, looking to tie NLEX in second place and rebound from last week’s tough loss to Barangay Ginebra.
Speaking of the crowd darlings, coach Tim Cone is just relieved that his charges are able to gain some sort of consistency—one that they need exactly in this stretch.
“We’ve been a team that’s very schizophrenic—playing one good half, then a bad half,” he said. “To play San Miguel and Magnolia back-to-back is an incredible challenge.”
Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia tangle in the 6:45 p.m. contest, with both teams jockeying for a spot in the upper half of the draw.
The Hotshots, who are coming off back-to-back losses, shoot for a resurgence as well, with import Romeo Travis rejoining the fold after nursing an injured ankle and the flu.
Meanwhile, tournament leader TNT (7-0) shipped Brian Heruela to Blackwater for Mike DiGregorio in a bid to bolster its weapons for another crack at a title.
“Three-point shooting is a huge part of our offense,” KaTropa coach Bong Ravena told the Inquirer. “We have identified Mike as one of the most consistent shooters from that distance in the league.”
“We’re sad to see Brian go,” added active consultant Mark Dickel, who stressed that opening up options for TNT is its paramount concern.
“Having a weapon like Mike means our other players will be more open,” he said of the streak-shooting guard, who has been shooting 65 percent from deep in six games here.
“In order to get a really good player, you have to give a really good player up,” Dickel added.
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