by Waylon Galvez
Games Today (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
2:45 p.m. – Barako Bull vs Rain or Shine
5:15 p.m. – Talk ’N Text vs San Miguel Beer
An undermanned San Miguel Beer team tries to stretch its winning streak to four games when it clashes with Talk ’N Text today in the PBA PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen will be without guard Chris Ross (calf muscle) and forward Marcio Lassiter (shin) when they face the Tropang Texters at 5:15 p.m.
Rain or Shine, on the other hand, battles Barako Bull in the first game with the former determined to bounce back from a stinging defeat to TNT last Wednesday.
With ROS and Barako carrying similar 1-3 cards, expect a rugged encounter when they clash at 2:45 p.m. as both teams intend to shore up their playoff bids.
Like the previous two conferences, this season-ending Governors’ Cup will also have a shortened elims – meaning every game should be treated like a do-or-die or face the consequence of being eliminated early.
After missing a potential game-winning three-point shot in the team’s 83-81 defeat to TNT, Paul Lee should be tightly marked as he vowed to make amends.
Aside from Lee, Beau Belga, Jeff Chan and Jervy Cruz should also step up to give import Arizona Reid a much-needed support.
Though both San Miguel and TNT are coming off scary wins, the Beermen should be the favorites having beaten the Grand Slam-seeking San Mig Super Coffee, 92-90, last Sunday.
Prior to that big win, the Beermen went through the wringer before pulling off a 115-112 overtime victory Barako Bull in Biñan, Laguna also last Wednesday.
Lassiter suffered his injury during a game San Mig where he crashed into VIP seats, while Ross got injured during their game against Barako Bull.
Though sophomore June Mar Fajardo sprained his right ankle during a game against Barako Bull, the 6-foot-10 center from Cebu looks ready to challenge the big guys of TNT in the shaded lane.
“We’re looking to ride on our momentum from our last game,” said San Miguel Beer mentor Binoy Ravanes.
“Talk N Text is coming from a win too so they’ll have their own (momentum) as well. We haven’t really seen the full potential of their new import. He has probably adjusted already by tomorrow. We just have to be prepared for whatever adjustments they’ll make,” he added.