(Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City)
4 p.m. – San Miguel vs Bangkok
Manila, Philippines – The San Miguel Beermen seek to bounce back from a stinging loss when it takes on the streaking Bangkok Cobras today in the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Coming off a disappointing 71-63 defeat to the Singapore Slingers, the Beermen return home from a six-day, two-game road trip when they clash with the Cobras at 4 p.m.
Both teams are locked in a tie for fourth place with identical 2-2 slates.
Coach Bobby Parks is banking on imports Dalron Johnson and Doug Thomas and top locals Froilan Baguion, Leo Avenido and June Mar Fajardo in hopes of toppling the Bangkok team under coach Joe “Jellybean” Bryant.
Bryant, the son of Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, got a rude ABL welcome three weeks ago when his Cobra were mauled by the AirAsia Philippine Patriots, 86-58, at the San Juan gym.
Since then, Bangkok got its groove, replacing burly 7-footer Bruce Brown with Michael Earl. On Wednesday, the Cobras stunned erstwhile unbeaten team Westports Malaysia Dragons, 63-60, in Kuala Lumpur.
“I think Bangkok has played much better compared to when the last time they played here in Manila,” Parks said.
Expected to provide the firepower for Bangkok are ex-PBA cager Marvin Cruz, American Gentry Lewis and Thai player Darunpong Apiromvilaichai.
It will be the second time that the Beermen will play a Thai team in a week. On Sunday, Avenido led his team’s 68-59 downing of the defending champion Chang Thailand Slammers in Bangkok.
Parks will also bank on his other players like Benedict Fernandez and Junjun Cabatu. (Jonas Terrado)