THE usual suspects – teams from the San Miguel Corp. and MVP group as well as two perennial-contending independent clubs – are the teams to beat in the Philippine Cup, according to team bosses.
League governors have installed San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra, TNT KaTropa, Rain or Shine, and Alaska as the pre-tournament favorites in a survey of their Top Four teams for the season-opening conference.
The defending champion Beermen, Governors’ Cup titlists Gin Kings, and the Texters were all mentioned by all the executives present in the media launch of the league’s 42nd season on Monday at Makati Shangri-La.
The intact Aces and new-look Elasto Painters, for their part, were declared a handful of times.
Governors’ Cup losing finalist Meralco, Globalport, NLEX, and Star also gained a few votes.
Mahindra management, which made a handful of puzzling moves in the offseason, was absent, with star guard LA Revilla its only representative.
NLEX also had no executive who attended, with ageless sltoman Asi Taulava the only one representing the Road Warriors.
Here are the governors’ picks:
Robert Non (SMB)- TNT, ROS, Alaska, Ginebra. “Panlima SMB”
Alfrancis Chua (Ginebra) – Alaska, TNT, SMB, ROS
Rene Pardo (Star) – SMB, Ginebra, TNT, and ‘dark horse’ Globalport
Erick Arejola (Globalport)– SMB, Gin, Alaska, TNT
Raymond Zorilla (Phoenix)– SMB, Gin, TNT, Star
Dickie Bachmann (Alaska) – “All teams of SMB and MVP and you can include Alaska.”
Ryan Gregorio (Meralco) – SMB, TNT, Gin, “dark horse’ NLEX aside from Meralco”
Leo Isaac (Blackwater) – SMB, RoS, Gin, Meralco