SAN Miguel Beer continues to ride its fearsome five as it tangles with TNT KaTropa on Saturday afternoon in a marquee PBA Philippine Cup road matchup at the San Agustin gym in Iloilo.
The Beermen have been relying heavily on Alex Cabagnot, June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos, and Chris Ross in winning their first two games of their title-retention campaign, with the starting unit scoring all but 13 of the team’s points in their 103-97 win over Meralco last December 27.
Asked if he’s still looking for something that his team can improve on, SMB coach Leo Austria joked that what he’s looking for is a person.
“Sa May pa dadating eh,” he said with a chuckle, referring to top pick Christian Standardinger, who will make his debut in the Commissioner’s Cup.
“But right now, I’m trying to maximize our potential,” Austria was quick to add as he turned serious. “With our first two games, we’ll keep on learning. We’ll know our weakness and our strengths eh.”
But so far, so good as the Beermen have been firing on all cylinders and are the only undefeated team left at this point of the conference.
The Beermen stake their perfect record in their 5 p.m. affair against the Texters, who frustrated Alaska, 106-98, last December 29 for their first win of the tournament that capped off their year on a high note.
“We get some sort of momentum, because we’re playing the best team in the league,” TNT coach Nash Racela said after their win over the Aces as he leans on Jayson Castro, Roger Pogoy, and Kelly Williams again.
But in these type of games, history is one the side of the Texters, who have won the last six games – and eight of the last nine – against SMB in road games in almost a decade, according to chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.