THE breakup of the so-called ‘Death Five’ was the biggest story from the San Miguel side in 2021. Earlier in the year though, a blockbuster trade allowed the already powerhouse Beermen to get stronger. Other stories from the SMB in 2021:
Terrence Romeo’s health was on the spotlight as early as the first game of the 2021 season after he twisted his ankle and hyperextended his knee during their match against Meralco. There were fears that he could be out for a lengthy period, but fortunately, he only needed rest.
In the bubble in Bacolor, Romeo suffered yet another injury as he hurt his Achilles in a game against Phoenix, forcing him to miss three games before returning for San Miguel’s playoff run.
Terrence Romeo missed several games in Bacolor.
GAME 7 LOSS IN SEMIS
After a disappointing campaign in the 2020 bubble, the Beermen were out to bounce back, ending the eliminations with a 7-4 card and the fourth seed in the quarterfinals where they swept NorthPort. San Miguel faced TNT in a tough series that reached the seventh game, but the Beermen were blown out by the Tropang Giga in the final match, 97-79.
SMB GETS CJ PEREZ
The Beermen further beefed up their roster in February, acquiring 2020 Rookie of the Year CJ Perez in a trade with Terrafirma for Gelo Alolino, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Russel Escoto, and two draft picks. The Beermen got younger in getting the former Lyceum standout while also maintaining the core led by June Mar Fajardo. Perez made a tremendous impact on the Beermen, mostly in an off-the-bench role, as he averaged 15.8 points in his first conference with his new team.
SMB gets a young star in CJ Perez.
One of the most clutch players in the PBA was traded by San Miguel, sending Alex Cabagnot to Terrafirma in November for Simon Enciso. The 39-year-old Cabagnot played for San Miguel on two different stints, the latest lasted for seven years where he won eight of his nine titles in the league.
ARWIND BIDS SMB GOODBYE
An era came to an end in November when San Miguel parted ways with Arwind Santos, sending the veteran forward to NorthPort for Vic Manuel. The news came as a shock to longtime San Miguel fans who have watched Santos since he was acquired by the Beermen in 2009 in a trade with the Air21 franchise. The 40-year-old won an MVP in 2013, and captured nine championships to stamp his class as one of the top players of the Beermen in franchise history.