Games Today (Cuneta Astrodome)
3 p.m. – San Miguel vs Globalport
5:15 p.m. – Star (Purefoods) vs Meralco
Manila, Philippines – Are the Globalport Batang Pier for real?
The San Miguel Beermen will probe for answers today not only to that question but also to one of the PBA Governors’ Cup’s biggest riddles: the so-called ‘three-headed monster.’
Globalport, conqueror recently of defending champion Star (formerly Purefoods), guns for its fourth straight win and solo leadership when it takes on San Miguel, the Philippine Cup titlist, at 3 p.m. at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The second game at 5:15 p.m. features the Star Hotshots against the Meralco Bolts. Star is tied for 4th to 6th place with Manny Pacquiao’s Kia Carnival and the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, while Meralco is in the midst of a 4-way deadlock with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, NLEX and SMB for 7th to 10th place.
Both teams are aching to come back from stinging losses, the Bolts to the NLEX Road Warriors, 91-84, where Andre Emmet erupted for 44 points and the brutalized Japanese reinforcement Seiya Ando debuted with 18 points along with three 3-point shots; and the Hotshots to the Batang Pier, 91-89, highlighted by Stanley Pringle’s one-on-one jumper against Marc Pingris in the dying seconds.
No sanctions have yet been meted out on NLEX’s Pamboy Raymundo and Asi Taulava, who took turns at giving Ando a rude welcome, but league media bureau chief Willie Marcial said PBA commissioner Chito Salud will tackle the matter after ruling on the more pressing incident that erupted recently in the PBA D-League.
Raymundo was captured in a series of photos by Spin.ph while appearing to bury an elbow at a fallen Ando; Taulava, on the other hand, hacked at the Japanese point guard from behind, drawing an instant glare from the Bolts’ Asian import but only an ordinary foul from the referees.
All eyes, however, will be on Globalport as coach Pido Jarencio’s overachieving band of isolation specialists seek to disengage from a three-team leaderboard that includes co-unbeaten Barako Bull and Alaska.
Barako Bull joined the Batang Pier on top after stunning undermanned Talk ‘N Text, 100-87, Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, while Alaska came aboard after denying a last-gasp driving layup by Paul Lee in holding off Rain or Shine, 94-93.
The matchup to watch will be the battle of the bulge between Globalport’s 6-foot-9 import Steve Thomas and SMB’s 6-foot-10 center Junemar Fajardo although much of the spotlight will follow the dazzling moves of the Batang Pier’s “three-headed” monster – Pringle, Terrence Romeo and Ronjay Buenafe plus perhaps its newest member Syrian reinforcement Omar Krayem.
SMB snapped a two-game losing start by downing Rain or Shine, 104-91, last Tuesday.