SISTER teams San Mig and San Miguel Beer will be banking on old reliables while Ginebra is keen to bring in a new face for the PBA Governors Cup, which is set to kick off in the third week of the month.
Having led the Mixers to the finals of the past two Governors’ Cups, Marqus Blakely is set to arrive on Monday to reunite with a team that is still in the hunt for a third successive championship in the Commissioner's Cup.
San Mig governor Rene Pardo said the reigning Governors’ Cup best import will immediately join the Mixers in training while the team make a bid for a finals berth in the Commissioner's Cup against Talk 'N Text.
“He’ll start practicing agad sa amin, kasi gusto namin maka-acclimatize na agad siya sa weather,” said Pardo. “Saka three days after ng finals start na ang Governors Cup.”
“He has already boarded the plane, in fact bukas (Monday) ng 4 a.m. ang dating niya, he will be personally welcomed at the airport by (team manager) Alvin (Patrimonio),” added the amiable team official.
Pardo said Blakely, who averaged 23.95 points, 14.30 rebounds, 3.91 assists, 2.43 steals and 2.36 blocks per game last season, initiated the negotiations for his return to the Tim Cone-mentored squad.
“Gusto-gusto niya kasing maglaro dito. In fact, siya pa nga ang talagang nagpa-abot ng feeler na he wants to return. He loves the PBA,” said Pardo.
“Why not bring him back? He is the reigning PBA best import, we want to give him the chance to defend the title and his personal accolade,” added the San Mig boss.
Meanwhile, San Miguel has also recalled prolific import Elijah Millsap, who wowed Filipino fans with his on-court smarts and all-around skills until he injured his foot at the latter part of the Governors Cup.
Millsap, brother of Atlanta Hawks star wingman Paul, will now get a shot at rdemption after Petron fell short in its bid to for the championship in a best-of-seven finals against Blakely and San Mig that went the distance.
“Yes, he will be our import for next conference. Management is now working on his (Millsap’s) papers,” said Biboy Ravanes, San Miguel coach.
“Our target really is to have him arrive this week, kasi bukas start na kami ng practice,” he added of Millsap, who averaged 28.57 points, 11.38 rebounds, 4.90 assists and 2.14 steals per game last season.
Of the three San Miguel Corporation teams, only Ginebra is still without a declared reinforcement, although a source told Spin.ph the team is currently negotiating with former Chattanooga Mocs starting forward Zaccheus Mason.
A known banger who is fresh from a stint in the US NCAA where he tallied 18.1 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3 blocks per game last season, Mason is at the top of a list of potential imports that Ginebra is looking at, the source added.
“Hindi pa final yan, kinakausap pa lang 'yan. Pero 'yan daw ang pinaka-gusto ng management,” said the Ginebra source.
The Kings will begin practicing on Monday as they try to atone for a disappointing exit at the quarterfinal stage of the last Commissioner's Cup.