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PBA: Roberts gets 2nd chance

KIA Carnival’s Karl Dehesa (right) breaks an alley-oop play intended for SMB’s Ronald Roberts (left) during PBA action Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. (Tony Pionilla)Import Ronald Roberts Jr. better start making heads turn because reigning Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer will not hesitate to replace him if the need arises.

While Roberts came up with 18 points, 22 rebounds and two shotblocks in an 88-78 defeat to expansion team Kia on Wednesday, the coaching staff of San Miguel remains hopeful that original pick Arinze Onuaku gets the go-signal to come over.

The 6-8 Roberts, the team’s third option after Onuaku and Eric Griffin, will get another chance to prove his worth, according to head coach Leo Austria.

Onuaku, a 6-9 standout from Syracuse, is on the lookout for an NBA team following his impressive showing in the NBA D-League.

“I hope na magkaroon kami ng chance sa kanya (Onuaku). We’re still hoping,” said Austria. “But we’ll see muna kung ano kakayahan talaga ni Roberts.”

Austria said it would be unfair to Roberts if they replace him after just one game since he joined the team practice a few days before the Kia clash.

SMB won the all-Filipino conference last Jan. 21 and only started working out with the 23-year-old Roberts over the weekend.

San Miguel faces Ginebra this Sunday and Roberts will again be put under the microscope.

“It’s too early to decide, the fact that he gave us 18 points and 22 rebounds, considering that he practiced with us for only three days. Give him some time,” said Austria.

“Kahit naman kumuha kami ng iba (import), ganun pa din maga-adjust pa din kami. The main reason for this loss is we are not sharp (as a team),” added Austria as SMB shot 33-of-89 (37%).

Arwind Santos said that it was their fault but he vowed they would bounce back next game.