San Miguel Beer will be defending its All-Filipino title sans prized center June Mar Fajardo, who has yet to complete his recovery from an injury.
But this doesn't exactly render the Beermen defenseless in the upcoming league restart.
"They're saying June Mar is not playing and maybe San Miguel is vulnerable, but the way they played their first game they didn't look as such," NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said in an interview on The Link podcast with Rey Joble.
Guiao said he expected the Beermen to be more agile and fluid without their big man.
"They're probably a lot quicker with more balanced scoring because they don't depend on June Mar a lot this time," he said.
San Miguel won its first game of the truncated tournament, a 94-78 win over Magnolia before the pandemic broke out last March.
Moala Tautuaa took over Fajardo's place and tallied 20 points and 11 rebounds to go with his 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal.
Terrence Romeo, Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter added at least 17 points each, while Alex Cabagnot came off the bench with 10.