A BANGED up San Miguel Beer team to extend its winning ways when it collides with Talk ‘N Text in the main game of the PBA Governors Cup Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Already missing the services of shooter Marcio Lassiter (cut on his right shin), the Beermen are expected to even suit up with one less player in starting point guard Chris Ross, who hurt his right calf in the team’s 115-112 overtime win against Barako Bull on Wednesday.
Youthful big man June Mar Fajardo is also a game-time decision, according to team active consultant Todd Purves after hurting his ankle during the same game against the Energy in Binan, Laguna.
In the absence of the Beermen’s two key players in the backcourt, Purves is expecting a lot more from Solomon Mercado, who will be backed up at the point by Chico Lanete.
Purves said the Beermen are definitely not taking the Tropang Texters lightly even though the team is currently on a transition after import Rodney Carney came in as a late replacement for original choice Othyus Jeffers.
“Talk about a team that also went to the Finals, not to mention going unbeaten in the (Commissioner’s Cup) eliminations,” Purves said in describing the Tropang Texters, who are coming off a nail-biting 83-81 victory over Rain or Shine.
Purves said the Beermen’s immediate concern is containing Talk ‘N Text’s top two local gunners in Ranidel de Ocampo and Jason Castro.
“Ranidel de Ocampo is a really good player. He can play inside and on the perimeter, so it’s a difficult cover,” said the American coach, who piloted the Indonesia Warriors to the 2012 Asean Basketball League (ABL) championship.
“Jason can also shoot and is good off the dribble and so with Ranidel, we have to defend the perimeter and the outside,” he added.
Meantime, Carney is expected to come out with a better performance in his second game with Talk N Text after being slowed down by jetlag during his debut Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-5 Carney, who played five seasons in the NBA, only had 13 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field against the Elasto Painters.