May 26, 2023

San Mig, NorthPort on collision course

GETTING traction in the PBA On Tour is foremost on the minds of San Miguel Beer and NorthPort as they tangle in the pre-season competition's lone Saturday offering at the Caloocan Sports Complex.

The Beermen and the Batang Pier stumbled in their respective opening encounters last Wednesday, with the former yielding to Phoenix Super LPG, 101-106, and the latter bowing to Meralco, 89-97.

Bounceback time for the two squads is at 5 p.m.

SMB coach Jorge Gallent gave comebacking Terrence Romeo and the team's role players opportunity to display their wares in their opening outing in the series as top guns June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross and Simon Enciso sat it out.

Romeo, who only played nine games in the last four conferences due to a hamstring injury, showed his old explosiveness in an extended 38-minute gig as San Miguel's lead playmaker.

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The spitfire out of Far Eastern U rifled in 27 points on a 12-of-23 field goal to go with five rebounds and seven assists and joined forces with Robbie Herndon in SMB's second-half fightback from 26 points down.

Mo Tautuaa, chief backup to Fajardo, had 16 while Rodney Brondial and Jericho Cruz shot 12 apiece as SMB's rally fell short.

Like SMB, NorthPort was undone by its woeful start in its kickoff assignment versus Meralco.

Bonnie Tan's charges faced a 20-point deficit at one point of the contest and tried in vain to salvage the victory.

With primary gunner Robert Bolick now out of the roster, the Batang Pier relied on the concerted efforts of seasoned shooter Jeff Chan, who fired a team-high 20, young frontliner JM Calma (15), backup guard Paul Zama (12) and veteran Arwind Santos (nine). (OL)