Mendoza: SMB due for revamp

Al Mendoza
·2 min read

STILL a hot topic of conversation is the exit of San Miguel Beer from the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup at Clark Freeport in Pampanga.

You just don’t dismiss a legend that easily, as in releasing dam water amid a storm without giving it much thought.

After more than hurdling the hump by surviving the 11-game elimination, the Beermen even had the luxury of achieving an ego massage. Why, because, as they advanced when they weren’t supposed to, they also earned a win-only-once bonus in the quarterfinals.

Incredible because that incentive was as unexpected as a woman of 50 conceiving her ninth child.

But Meralco was there all along to burst the SMB bubble via a cruel two-game sweep.

No surprise there.

Without its pillar of power in 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo, San Miguel’s strength had been cut to half.

Mo Tautuaa did his best to mimic Fajardo but, alas, there’s only one Fajardo. Tell me, who could even come close to equaling Fajardo’s six MVP awards? Not in this millennium.

Further compounding matters was when playmaker Terrence Romeo suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, effectively dislocating SMB’s campaign altogether.

Those weren’t minor faucet drips but major leaks.

Soon enough, cracks creeped in, most glaring among them were knees suddenly turning from tough-as-nails to limp as empty sacks.

Such knees were those mostly from SMB’s vaunted starters, who were chiefly responsible for making the Beermen All-Filipino champs for half a decade from 2015.

Every woman, yes, is forever forgiven to hide her age but not athletes, the males in particular; their value is always equated with the calendar.

Arwind Santos is 39, Alex Cabagnot is 37 turning 38 on Dec. 8, Chris Ross is 35 turning 36 on March 9 and Marcio Lassiter turned 33 last May 16. Fajardo has just turned 31 last Nov. 17.

This quintet are the deadliest ever first stringers the PBA has ever produced, the reason the Beermen are Philippine Cup champs the last five years.

But nothing lasts forever except the clock. Father Time will always win in the end.

Revamp, rebuild, is the call of the times.