PBA: Official business resumes with key doubleheader | Inquirer Sports

PBA: Official business resumes with key doubleheader

/ 04:15 AM March 15, 2023

NLEX star Kevin Alas leads Road Warriors to another win. –PBA IMAGES

NLEX Road Warriors’ star Kevin Alas. –PBA IMAGES

It’s back to business for teams with remaining playdates in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup. And for two squads that got beaten black and blue in an overseas tournament, there is that added motivation of applying balms to bruised egos.

For San Miguel Beer, though, recapturing that intimidating form will be doubly hard as it goes into a battle for playoff protection against NLEX on Wednesday minus main man June Mar Fajardo.


“He has a [medial collateral ligament] grade 3 injury,” team manager Gee Abanilla said of the six-time Most Valuable Player in a short message to the Inquirer on Tuesday. “[June Mar] will be out for about six weeks depending on how he responds to his rehab.”


The Beermen and the TNT Tropang Giga, who will also see action in the Wednesday doubleheader at PhilSports Arena against NorthPort, are coming off embarrassing stints in the East Asia Super League Champions Week, where they were ran off the court by huge margins and finished the tournament winless.

Strong showing

San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent. –PBA IMAGES

San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent. –PBA IMAGES

“We need to regroup,” said CJ Perez, who will lead the Beermen (7-2 win-loss) against the Road Warriors.

The winner of that 5:45 p.m. match will have a twice-to-beat card in its pocket for the quarterfinals, and NLEX hopes that the strong showing of its star, Kevin Alas, during the All-Star weekend will translate into a solid performance against San Miguel Beer.

Alas had a game-high 35 points during the midseason special hosted by Passi City, Iloilo province.

Without Fajardo, San Miguel will have to rely heavily on import Cameron Clark along with its other big men in Mo Tautuaa, Rodney Brondial and the now-healthy Vic Manuel.

TNT has little at stake against NorthPort except for positioning but for the Batang Pier, it’s a matter of survival in the 3 p.m. match.


A win by NorthPort (3-7) will force a knockout match for the last quarterfinal berth against Phoenix.

“We should grab the opportunity,” said NorthPort coach Bonnie Tan. “[The players] have to dig deep within themselves and their desires should translate into the game.”

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“I told them that if they already wanted to go on vacation, then [don’t] show up. Otherwise, it’s all up to them,” he added.

TAGS: PBA, Sports

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