Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
5:45 p.m. – Air21 vs Meralco
8 p.m. – Petron vs San Mig
Unbeaten Petron Blaze and San Mig Coffee meet for the first time since their grueling Governors’ Cup finals series today in the PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
More than trying to extend their win run to three games, the Boosters, especially coach Gee Abanilla, are expected to go allout in the hope of exacting sweet revenge over the same team that denied them a championship in a series they were expected to win convincingly.
Game time is set at 8 p.m. with the Mixers out to barge into the win-column after dropping their first two games.
Winless teams Meralco and Air21 meet in the first game at 5:45 p.m.
Despite playing with an undermanned crew, Petron made full use of its remaining talents to hack out a 77-63 win against defending champion Talk ‘N Text last Saturday with reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) Arwind Santos collecting 15 points and 15 rebounds.
The Boosters also got solid contributions from 6-foot-10 sophomore center June Mar Fajardo who posted 10 points and 12 boards, while veteran forward Doug Kramer came off the bench to add 10 points and 10 boards in just 20 minutes of action.
Aside from Petron’s prolific big men, San Mig coach Tim Cone should look for possible ways on how his shooters could shoot straight. Petron’s defense was so tight it held TNT to just 22-of-81 (27.2%) shooting from the field, while also outrebounding its opponent, 58-49.
Abanilla said they will continue to fight even with five key players on the injured list.
“We are just trying to grind it out. We still have a lot of players trying to get healthy,” said Abanilla, whose team started without injured players Alex Cabagnot (foot), Ronald Tubid (knee) and Chico Lanete (hamstring).
The Boosters will miss the services of new recruit Chris Ross (hamstring) while the condition of sophomore center Yousef Taha (knee) remains day-to-day.
“We’ll just fight it thru and try to hold the fort. We want to build the character in our team, and show the resiliency when faced with adversity,” added Abanilla.