By JONAS TERRADO
SAN Miguel Beer hopes to start its PBA Governors’ Cup campaign on the right track despite the absence of injured star June Mar Fajardo when it takes on NLEX tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With Fajardo out for at least six weeks with an injured shin, the Beermen are expected to have their hands full in the second game of the Petron Saturday Special set at 6:45 p.m.
Not only will it play sans Fajardo, San Miguel won’t be having rookie Christian Standhardinger who is due to return today from his national team stint in the Asian Games stint in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Coach Leo Austria looks to maximize his roster which will be led by Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos, and import Arizona Reid, returning for a fourth stint with the Beermen.
Reid is eager to help San Miguel regain its swagger after a stinging six-game loss to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals last month.
NLEX, meanwhile, will welcome coach Yeng Guiao after calling the shots for the Philippines in the Asiad but the fiery mentor is likely to act an observer and hand the duties to his coaching staff led by assistant Jojo Lastimosa for the final time.
With Lastimosa as interim coach, the Road Warriors started the season-ending conference by winning three of four games.
Import Aaron Fuller tries to build on his 35-point, 21-rebound, seven-assist performance in NLEX’s 116-104 win over Columbian Dyip last Wednesday.
In the first game, Magnolia shoots for win No. 2 against struggling NorthPort at 4:30 p.m.
The Hotshots play their first game since Aug. 22 when they pummeled the Road Warriors, 102-72, at the Big Dome.
Import Romeo Travis, Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon look to banner Magnolia’s quest for another victory with Paul Lee still out of action.
NorthPort tries to end its skid with top players Stanley Pringle and Sean Anthony out of action.