PBA: Retooled SMB begins redemption campaign vs NLEX


Posted at Dec 07 2021 06:40 PM


San Miguel Beer will parade a new mix of players when it begins its redemption drive against NLEX in the PBA Governors Cup on Wednesday.

Gone from the former Philippine Cup five-peat champions are Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot. 

But they will be having prolific scorer Vic Manuel and Simon Enciso together with import Brandon Brown.

"We value our relationship with Arwind and Alex, and we're grateful to them but there comes a time that we need to move on and focus on the talent that we have right now," said said San Miguel team manager Gee Abanilla in he PBA website.

"We lose some, we gain some. Different pieces, different strengths and weaknesses. Now is the challenge for the coaching staff to make them jell as a unit and with Brandon's addition, we can hide those temporary weaknesses until we fully accept what kind of team we want to be."

Brown is already familiar with the PBA style of play as he suited up for Phoenix in 2017 as a replacement to Eugene Phelps. He averaged 34.8 points in six games.

But the Road Warriors will also be parading an excellent import in former TNT reinforcement KJ McDaniels. He put in averages of 35.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals while leading TNT to a semifinal finish in 2019. 

"With KJ's presence, with our new guys and with the rest of the guys, we feel we have the players to complement one another and I think we can get to the semifinals," said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.

Guiao also addressed the absence of Kiefer Ravena by brining back Marion Magat and enlisted Kris Rosales.

Also returning is Asi Taulava who is staying active at age 48 as the NLEX frontline is severely hit by injuries.