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PBA: San Mig makes debut vs Globalport tonight

Games Today (Smart Araneta)
5:45 p.m. – Alaska vs Meralco
8 p.m. – San Mig Coffee vs Globalport

San Mig Super Coffee, getting a break in the schedule after battling for six games in the Philippine Cup Finals less than three weeks ago, makes its debut in the PLDT myDSL PBA Commissioner’s Cup today against winless Globalport at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Mixers, who beat the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in a walkout-marred best-of-7 championship series, hope to dodge the bullet at 8 p.m. when they face an opponent probably close to desperation following two straight losses.

In the curtain raiser at 5:45 p.m., the defending champion Alaska Aces meet the Meralco Bolts, another team looking for redemption after a forgettable start.

The Aces, with Robert Dozier as import, swept Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Vernon Macklin in last season’s best-of-5 finals, and they are coming off a morale-lifting 93-78 rout of Globalport, again with Dozier, after dropping their first game to Talk ‘N Text, 85-72.

The Bolts, meanwhile, ran into a red-hot San Miguel Beer (formerly Petron Blaze) and were short-circuited, 94-76.

“When the going gets tough, Robert Dozier gets going,” said Aces Luigi Trillo after the Globalport game Saturday. “We’re proud of him. Every time he went down, he got up. When Dozier gets going, everybody gets going. It’s a war of attrition for him.

Named Best Import in their championship conference, Dozier had 25 points on 7 of 16 shooting the last time out with 15 rebounds and 5 assists.

NBA D-League All-Star MVP Brian Butch led Meralco with 29 points against SMB and Gary David had 20. But the Bolts couldn’t hang on after keeping even in the first quarter, 20-all, succumbing to their atrocious shooting as they missed 49 of 76 shots overall, including 18 of 21 three-point attempts.

San Mig Coffee, meanwhile, will be parading James Mays, a 6-foot-8, 240-lb. forward who played college ball at Clemson and has had pro stints in China, Turkey and Puerto Rico.

Tim Cone, now the PBA’s winningest coach with 16 championships, spotted Mays during the NBA D-League Showcase, saw a lot of promise and lost no time recruiting the Garner, North Carolina native, who joined the 2008 NBA Draft but was left untouched.

He will be up against Evan Brock, who has put up decent numbers in Globalport’s first two games but remains plagued by his turnover tendencies and unsteady free throw shooting. (Tito S. Talao)