Oct 04, 2022

SMB hopes new import fits quickly as Beermen battle Blackwater Bossing

SAN Miguel Beer hopes its replacement import would be a gem of a find when the Beermen take on Blackwater Wednesday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The recent Philippine Cup champions are set to unleash Diamond Louis Stone in lieu of fellow former NBA campaigner Thomas Robinson, who has complained of recurring back spasms since late last week.

"Mahirap, baka pabalik-balik iyun kaya nagpakuha na kami ng replacement," said the source.

In comes Stone, who was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans and briefly saw action for the LA Clippers.

"He is the best available option in such a short period of time," said a team insider of the 25-year-old who has seen extensive action in the G-League and last suited up for the Taiwan Beer HeroBears of the T1 League where he became known as a prolific scorer.

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The same source disclosed that Stone is set to arrive Tuesday.

The injury to Robinson, a No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and a certified double-double performer in the G-League, should come as a dampener to SMB's hopes of getting its mid-season campaign off to a fine start.

"We are so excited to have him kasi nga we see that Robinson, talagang magaling and can dominate," said Beermen coach Leo Austria in an interview early last week.

"Ang downer lang, we have to bring down one of our big men because of Robinson's presence," added Austria.

The Beermen actually have enough time to either assimilate Stone or get Robinson healthy since they next face Rain or Shine on Sunday and Bay Area a week later. Then they embark on a grueling schedule in which they will be playing four games in eight days.

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In the meantime, SMB would be keeping its fingers crossed that Stone would adjust quickly, especially against a Blackwater side that is bristling to bounce back from a 102-105 loss to NLEX last Friday in a game where the Bossing led by as many as 16 points, only to fold in the stretch. (NC)