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    SMB begins bid for sixth straight Philippine Cup against Magnolia

    Mar 8, 2020

    SAN Miguel begins its quest for a sixth PBA Philippine Cup crown when the Beermen clash with the Magnolia Hotshots in the 2020 season opener at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    The match is set at 7:30 p.m. following the Leo Awards and the opening ceremony for the 45th season of the league.

    All eyes will be on the Beermen in the season-opening conference as they look to defend the Philippine Cup title without June Mar Fajardo, who suffered a complete fracture in his right tibia during their build-up for the season. Fajardo is expected to miss the entire season.

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    Even with Fajardo out, San Miguel is still seen as a title contender in the Philippine Cup. The core from its five championships in the all-Filipino conference in Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross and Arwind Santos are still around along with 2019 Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP Terrence Romeo.

    Fajardo’s back-up Mo Tautuaa is also eager to prove he can help provide stability in the paint.

    “Unlike before, alam nila pupunta lagi kay June Mar. Ngayon, there’s so many weapons. But I told them na you have to run according to our system,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.

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    With Fajardo injured, the Beermen face stiff competition and among the top rivals is Magnolia, which finished runner-up ro San Miguel two straight times.

    The Hotshots quietly build their team while making a few changes along the way with the acquisition of energy guy Jackson Corpuz from Columbian in a trade.

    Magnolia will also be leaning on its old reliables such as Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, and Mark Barroca.

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