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    Is there a place for Cañete in loaded SMB rotation? Austria weighs in

    Jul 11, 2022
    Michael Canete SMB vs Blackwater
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    SAN Miguel held Blackwater’s surprising rookie Ato Ular to his lowest scoring production in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night.

    And all it took was one unassuming guy who’s a little bit familiar with the way Ular moves.

    Coach Leo Austria decided to start back-up big man Michael Cañete to disrupt even for just a short period of time the 6-foot-4 Ular, the second-round pick of the Bossing who’s been doing wonders for the team so far.

    Former teammates

    It so happened Cañete and Ular were former teammates.

    “Michael Cañete and Ular were teammates before at Arellano. So yung familiarization ay nandun,” said Austria following the Beermen’s 110-107 overtime win over the Bossing.

    Ular was limited to just eight points after averaging 17.5 points in the Bossing’s first six games. He grabbed eight rebounds, but was only 4-of-11 from the field.

    “I think he did not play bad,” Austria said of Ular. “But we want somebody who could play better and attack Ular.”



      Initially, the task was given to Canete, before big man Mo Tautuaa took over and carried on the job for the rest of the game.

      Ular did confirm he and Canete briefly became teammates with the Chiefs.

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      “Naging teammates kami pero saglit na saglit lang,” said the Blackwater rookie, who went on and carved a name for himself in college basketball playing for Letran.

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      Austria though, sees a lot of promise in the 6-foot-4 Canete, a free agent signing by the Beermen during the offseason who previously suited up for Meralco.

      “We know it’s a matter time for him to be included in the rotation because they (Canete and Jeepy Faundo) joined us a few days before the opening. So they have to learn everything what we’ve been doing before,” said the San Miguel coach.

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      PHOTO: PBA Images
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