Petron Blaze, which takes over from San Miguel, slugs it out with walking-wounded Meralco today even as Barangay Ginebra similarly opens up its bid in the PBA Governors Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
After failing to make it past the eliminations in a long time as Beermen in the Commissioner’s Cup, the Boosters go up as favorites in the 5:30 p.m. contest against a Meralco crew that could be without leading local scorer Mac Cardona.
Ginebra, which finished second to Talk ‘N Text in the Commissioner’s Cup, will be parading Curtis Stinson, at 7:45 p.m. against Powerade which will be reinforced by former Ginebra import Chris Porter.
Rain or Shine drew 36 points from its import as the Elastopainters trounced the BMEG Llamados, 95-82, in the opening match of the Governors Cup in Tacloban City Saturday night.
Arizona Reid, a forward from High Point College, also hauled down 17 rebounds for the Elastopainters, teaming up with the locals Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood and Larry Rodriguez who all churned in double-digit outputs.
Reid simply outclassed BMEG’s import Stefhon Hannah, who fired blanks all night long.
Hannah, a guard from Iowa Energy in the NBA D-League, misfired on all of his 11 attempts from downtown and to finish with just eight points, finally nailing his first basket after going 0-of-16 from the field.
Meanwhile, James Yap carried the load for the Llamados with 17 markers while Peter June Simon and new recruit Joe Devance added 14 apiece.
Jay Washington will continue to be the main local for Petron after Petron lost several veterans in a trade with Air21 a few months back.
Rabeh Al-Hussaini, the former Ateneo King Eagle who is leading the Rookie of the Year race this season, Nonoy Baclao and Alex Cabagnot are the other key men for Petron.
Cardona is nursing a strained calf and up until Friday wasn’t able to practice with the squad.
Meralco starting point guard Chris Ross is out of the tournament for good after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee.
Ross, who blossomed into a star after being acquired by Meralco, will be out for six months at least.
Meralco has decided to use national team center Asi Taulava for the tournament because of its injury woes, pulling him out of the Smart-Gilas program until the end of August at the latest in an effort to shore up its chances for the tournament.
Porter played for the Kings and had a pretty decent first PBA stint several years back when the import height limit was 6-foot-6. Ginebra didn’t get to the Finals then and he is obviously hoping that he could change the fortunes of the Tigers.
The Tigers will have the tallest import in the lot, a concession they earned after being eliminated in each of the first two conferences.
Petron will put its second import pick, Ricky Harris, to the test practically straight from the airport after the former Calvert Hall star planed in yesterday as a replacement for original choice Mike Taylor.
Taylor, a National Basketball Association veteran, pulled a hamstring in a friendly against the Elasto Painters last week and left Petron no choice but to look for a substitute.
It was a pity that the Boosters lost Taylor, who has a lot of NBA experience and a career-high of 35 points scored against the New York Knicks in the majors.
Ginebra coach Jong Uichico is hopeful Stinson will be able to do his share in the low blocks, just like last conference’s import, Nate Brumfield.
“We’re just looking for help down low and we’ll have to make do with what the height limit allows us,” Uichico said.
RAIN OR SHINE 95 – Reid 36, Chan 11, Norwood 10, Rodirguez 10, Belga 7, Buenafe 6, Arana 6, Vanlandingham 4, Jazul 3, Kramer 2, Ibanes 0.
B-MEG – Yap 17, Simon 14, Devance 14, Gaco 10, Hannah 8, Allado 8, Pingris 5, Villanueva 3,
Escobal 3, Fernandez 0.
Quarterscores: 19-19, 44-31, 69-60, 95-82
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Petron five debuts vs Meralco today; Elastopainters score
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