By Jonas Terrado
(Ynares Center, Antipolo City)
4:30 p.m. – Columbian vs NorthPort
7 p.m. – Meralco vs San Miguel
Former NCAA stars Robert Bolick and CJ Perez face off for the first time in the pro ranks as NorthPort seeks to remain unbeaten after three games against Columbian Dyip tonight in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The matchup between Bolick and Perez will serve as a subplot in the Batang Pier’s bid to tie the idle Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters for a share of the lead in the season-opening tournament.
Defending four-time champion San Miguel Beer goes for its second straight victory after losing its opening assignment to Columbian exactly a week ago in the 7 p.m. affair with Meralco.
San Miguel is likely to play without Terrence Romeo for the second straight time due to an ankle sprain suffered against the Dyip.
Both rookies had multiple title battles in the NCAA, with Bolick’s San Beda Red Lions beating Perez and the Lyceum Pirates both times in the 2017 and 2018 finals.
Perez and Bolick have so far lived up to high expectations after being chosen as the first and third overall picks of the PBA Rookie Draft last December.
Bolick averaged 20.0 points on 64 percent shooting in the first two games that saw NorthPort beat Blackwater (117-91) and NLEX (95-90).
Perez, on the other hand, has produced 18.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals in the two games that saw the Dyip split their first two matches.
But Perez will be aiming to redeem himself from being held to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting in Columbian’s 108-98 loss to Phoenix two nights ago at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Meanwhile, NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio is also banking on PBA Press Corps Player of the Week Sean Anthony to continue his hot start.
Anthony posted 20.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 4.0 steals in the two games even as the Batang Pier are looking at Stanley Pringle, Paolo Taha and Mo Tautuaa to deliver solid numbers anew.