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NBA veteran debuts for SMB vs ROS

John Holland hopes to make an immediate impact and keep San Miguel Beer inside the top four against Rain or Shine in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

JOHN Holland

JOHN Holland

The Beermen, who carry a record of six victories and three defeats, are banking on the former NBA player to deliver the goods in the Petron Saturday Special affair set at 5 p.m.

SMB tapped the services of Holland after Dez Wells suffered an ankle injury, forcing the team to parade an all-local lineup in Wednesday’s 99-96 overtime victory over Blackwater at the Cuneta Astrodome.

While the team said it has placed Wells on the injured reserve, Holland may end up playing the same role as Commissioner’s Cup import Chris McCullough if SMB goes all the way to win the coveted Grand Slam.

It would be recalled that McCullough replaced Charles Rhodes after a 2-5 record in the midseason tournament and powered the Beermen to 12 victories in the last 16 games to claim the crown.

The conference’s first game outside of Luzon will mark the return of June Mar Fajardo to his home province.

Fajardo will play in Cebu for the first time since Jan. 21, 2017 when the Beermen defeated the GlobalPort (now NortPort) Batang Pier 106-100 at the same venue.

Terrence Romeo also played in that game as an opponent, but will be on the same side of Fajardo as the Beermen try to improve their 6-3 record.

With a 2-7 mark, Rain or Shine needs to win its final two games in order to stay in the hunt for at least the last quarterfinals berth.

Rain or Shine is 1 1/2-game behind eighth-placer NorthPort, which holds a 3-5 record.

It will be the second straight conference that SMB and Rain or Shine will play in an out-of-town match.

San Miguel slipped past Rain or Shine 89-87 in the Commissioner’s Cup last July 13 in Cagayan de Oro City. (Jonas Terrado)