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PBA: Beermen face acid tests against Hotshots, Kings

After Magnolia, San Miguel takes on. Brgy. Ginebra

Published

By Jonas Terrado

Team Standings W L

TNT KaTropa 5 0

San Miguel 3 0

NLEX 4 1

Meralco 3 1

Magnolia 3 1

Columbian 2 2

Phoenix Pulse 2 4

Ginebra 1 2

Blackwater 1 2

NorthPort 1 4

Rain or Shine 1 4

Alaska 0 5

Games Friday

(Mall of Asia Arena)

4:30 p.m. — Columbian vs Blackwater

7 p.m. — San Miguel vs Magnolia

Unbeaten San Miguel Beer enters a difficult stretch in its Grand Slam bid Friday with a marquee matchup against defending champion Magnolia in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

San Miguel's Dez Wells, right, drives to the basket against NLEX defender Kenneth Ighalo (PBA Images)

San Miguel’s Dez Wells, right, drives to the basket against NLEX defender Kenneth Ighalo (PBA Images)

The Beermen, fresh from participating in the PBA’s tour of Dubai, gun for their fourth straight win and stay within striking distance of solo leader TNT KaTropa in the 7 p.m. match with the Hotshots.

Magnolia also enters the game having won three in a row after dropping its opening assignment to Meralco last Sept. 21.

SMB is coming off a 98-94 victory over NLEX in the Emirates, a game that saw coach Leo Austria’s wards overcome a three-point deficit in the final two minutes to preserve its unbeaten run.

But the Beermen now have a tall order to hurdle as they’re also scheduled to face Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

For now, SMB’s focus is on Magnolia, a team which also has a good chance to extend its supremacy in the season-ending conference.

While the game could have a major role in the fortunes of both teams, Hotshots import Romeo Travis would rather downplay the significance of the matchup.

“It’s still a lot of season left and a lot of things can happen,” said Travis. “You just go out here and play the game and see what happens and take it for what it’s worth.

Magnolia import Romeo Travis (PBA images)

Magnolia import Romeo Travis (PBA images)

“It’s not a big game, it’s not a playoff game, it’s not going to have playoff implications. It means something but it’s not really a huge game. So we gonna out here, play hard and see what happens.

“If we win, great. If we don’t, we gonna learn,” added Travis, who is averaging 20.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks.

Romeo’s SMB counterpart Dez Wells is out to continue his superb play this conference. The 27-year-old is averaging 33.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals for the Beermen.

Columbian and Blackwater try to improve their fortunes in the curtain raiser set at 4:30 p.m.

Rookie CJ Perez and Dyip aim to improve their 2-2 slate after a 125-120 loss to TNT while Blackwater

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