(Ynares Center, Antipolo City)
3 p.m. – San Miguel vs Blackwater
5:15 p.m. – Meralco vs Rain or Shine
Yap hopes to join elite 10,000-point club.
The San Miguel Beermen will likely enter the homestretch of their Grand Slam bid with a championship hangover as they play the Blackwater Elite today in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
San Miguel will make its debut in the season-ending conference at 3 p.m., more than three weeks after moving within shouting distance of completing the league’s sixth Grand Slam with its conquest of the Commissioner’s Cup.
But the Beermen are expected to face the Elite in the Petron Saturday Special far from the team that beat TNT KaTropa in precision-like manner, knowing that the title chase will be a long journey.
Coach Leo Austria, however, believes the Beermen will eventually regain their deadly form at the right time and motivated to etch their names in the history books.
“They don’t want to give up the glory of winning a championship, that’s something you cannot buy,” Austria said after San Miguel’s Commissioner’s Cup title victory earlier this month.
While its top locals – June Mar Fajardo, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos – are tasked to lead the elusive quest, San Miguel will also pin its hopes on import Wendell McKines to produce a performance also similar to what Charles Rhodes did in the midseason tourney.
McKines, who is making his third stint in the country, has been with the team since the Commissioner’s Cup eliminations, but this afternoon marks the first time he gets a chance to mesh with his teammates on the floor.
The Beermen will also parade Gilas Cadet member Von Pessumal, who was acquired from GlobalPort in exchange for Arnold Van Opstal that added another reliable shooter to an already deep roster.
Blackwater is eager to deliver the upset after dropping its first two games to Meralco and Star by an average of 23 points.
As San Miguel starts its title bid, Meralco looks to continue its own quest when it seeks a third straight win against Rain or Shine at 5:15 p.m.
Rain or Shine blew a chance to remain unbeaten in the conference after dropping a 122-114 double overtime setback to NLEX Wednesday.
A subplot of the game is Elasto Painters star James Yap’s expected entry in the exclusive 10,000-point club. Yap needs just three points to become the 14th player to reach that mark.