PBA: Orlando Johnson will have to keep proving himself to keep spot at San Miguel
MANILA, Philippines–Orlando Johnson proved himself in San Miguel Beer’s convincing win over his former team Barangay Ginebra on Sunday, missing a triple-double by just two assists after tossing in 31 points and plucking down 10 boards.
It seems he will have to keep doing that for the rest of his stay with the Beermen in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
San Miguel takes on Phoenix Super LPG at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Ynares Center in Antipolo, and rumors that a potential replacement in Shabazz Muhammad have circled the day following that impressive performance as the Beermen want no stones unturned in chasing the elimination round pacesetters for the best possible position come the playoffs.
Johnson had confessed that the games he played here were his first two in close to a year because of the pandemic, explaining why he was mediocre in a loss to TNT.
“I knew it was only a matter of time,” Johnson told a couple of reporters on Sunday. “I haven’t played in a while. I knew I was going to be rusty, but I wasn’t hoping [to be] that rusty in the first game, but it happens. I really just wanted to come back and play well.”
Muhammad has, according to sources, reportedly planed in Tuesday, although the team hasn’t informed the Commissioner’s Office of a change 24 hours before their clash with the Fuel Masters.
Whether it’s a one-miss-you-die deal from hereon for Johnson remains a question mark, with no team official willing to divulge their plans.
But Johnson, whether he knows of this development or not, sounded very confident that he’s back in the groove and feels he is fitting just as nicely in a roster peppered with the league’s young and seasoned stars.
“We just want to keep building,” he said. “I know [my teammates’] last game [before playing TNT] was back in Dec. 26, and that’s like two months ago, myself a year ago.
“So we’re just finding that chemistry,” he went on. “The first game, all of us were a little rusty, but we really wanted to have a good performance against a high-power team in Ginebra.”
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