New-look Beermen have busy first week in Governors’ Cup
San Miguel Beer will get to roll its sleeves early on and put its new-look roster to the test when the PBA’s import-laced and season-ending Governors’ Cup gets going next week.
The all-Filipino team of the last decade, to be reinforced by Brandon Brown, will tangle with NLEX on Dec. 8 at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, kicking off a whirlwind schedule that will pit the Beermen against two more foes right before the opening week ends as new acquisitions Vic Manuel and Simon Enciso get the chance to blend in more with real-game action.
Leo Austria and his charges will next face Alaska on Dec. 10, and then NorthPort and former stalwart Arwind Santos on Sunday.
The Aces, together with the Batang Pier, officially raise the curtain on the Governors’ Cup, which is—barring any more hitches—shaping up as a milestone of sorts for the PBA.
It would be the first time in the pandemic era that Asia’s pioneering pro league is able to mount a conference with foreign reinforcements. The PBA was only able to hold a single conference in 2020, salvaging what was left of its All-Filipino tournament in a bio-secure bubble across Clark Freeport and Angeles City in Pampanga.
The opening week is filled with double-headers, and a Thursday playdate being implemented in a bid to hold as many games possible as the threat of another surge brought on by the coronavirus pandemic persists.
Defending champion Barangay Ginebra and Justin Brownlee formally begin their title-retention bid in the last duel of the opening week.
Terrafirma and Phoenix Super LPG battle it out on Thursday, Dec. 9, followed by a clash between rebuilding Blackwater and Rain or Shine.
NLEX and NorthPort slug it out the next day, with Phoenix Super LPG and Blackwater and then Rain or Shine and Terrafirma taking the spotlight on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Philippine Cup champion TNT continued to bolster its pool of role players, bringing in Carl Bryan Cruz to its fold by way of a three-for-one deal the Office of the Commissioner approved on Friday.
Cruz, formerly of Blackwater, reunites with Chot Reyes, whom he served in multiple occasions donning the Gilas red-white-and-blue in the past. It is the second pickup the Tropang Giga made during the midseason break after signing sniper Gab Banal just two weeks ago.
The Bossing received 2005 top draft pick Jay Washington and two future second-round picks in the swap.
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