San Miguel, NLEX collide as they try to bounce back from heartbreaking losses
Former MVP Asi Taulava and reigning MVP Junemar Fajardo are both averaging 16.5 points this season. Dante Peralta 

SAN Miguel Beer tries to bounce back from a sorry loss and a chance to grab solo second place when it clashes with NLEX on Saturday in the Petron-PBA Philippine Cup road game in Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

The erstwhile unbeaten Beermen are still smarting from a 63-66 loss to the Alaska Aces in a battle of the league leaders on Wednesday.

But San Miguel star forward Arwind Santos said they don’t intend to dwell too much on that loss, hoping to pick up valuable lessons from it as they shoot for their fourth win in five starts.

“Natural lang kami natitisod, pero kailangan naming bumangon,” said the 6-foot-4 Santos, who is averaging a team-best 19.0 points, along with 9.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per contest.

Since the Beermen won’t have big men Doug Kramer (sprained ankle) and Rico Maiehofer (knee) for the third straight game, expected to carry the load on the frontcourt are Santos and reigning Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo.

Fajardo will also be renewing his personal duel with NLEX big man Asi Taulava.

Both big men are averaging 16.5 points per game this season and both teams are coming off losses.

The Road Warriors suffered a 75-90 loss to sister team Meralco last Wednesday in a game that saw Taulava’s huge double-double effort of 24 points and 12 rebounds go down the drain.

NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said they cannot afford to be inconsistent, especially against powerhouse San Miguel.

“I just told the boys, we will take the positives from the loss to Meralco,” said Fernandez. “We’ll try to be ready in our next game”

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