The five-time defending champions San Miguel Beermen and the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters will try to book their tickets to the quarterfinal round when they face off against one another in the PBA Philippine Cup on Thursday, November 5, at the AUF Sports Arena in Pampanga.
Game time is at 6:45 p.m. in what is the final header of a triple-header for the league. TerraFirma and Magnolia tips things off at 1 p.m. followed by the game between Meralco and Rain or Shine at 4 p.m.
The hottest team in the league right now with four straight wins, San Miguel will have to dig deep into their bag as they look for their fifth victory in a row. Beermen head coach Leo Austria said his veteran players’ rest and recovery was foremost on his mind after they logged in major minutes in their 90-88 overtime victory over Blackwater last Tuesday. The win placed the team’s win-loss record at 5-2.
Moalaa Tautuaa played nearly 46 minutes while Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross played at least 37 minutes each.
"We have to manage our recovery, that's the more important thing," Austria was quoted as saying on the league’s official website.
"In about 24 hours they have to get back their energy. You know our next opponent is Phoenix. Very energetic ang team na ito so kailangan i-manage namin bodies ng players," Austria added.
In contrast, Phoenix didn’t have as much trouble disposing of the winless TerraFirma as they won via a rout, 116-94, to up their record to 5-3. Matthew Wright continued his scoring rampage with 33 points while Calvin Abueva burnished his comeback tour with a triple-double of 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
"He's playing inspired basketball right now," said Robinson of Abueva, who after being suspended for 16 months, has hit the ground running with averages of 17 points, 10.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists. (JNP)