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SMB taps Mabulac, tests rookies, reserves

The class of 2018: Draftees pose one last time during the 2017 PBA Draft at the Robinson's Place in Ermita, Manila. | PBA Images, File

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Beer is activating 6-foot-3 forward Michael Mabulac from reserve status and will look at its rookie draftees, other reserves and free agents as the team fills the spots left vacant following Christian Standhardinger’s trade acquisition.

While awaiting for the completion of Standhardinger’s tenure with his ABL team, Mabulac takes the place of JayR Reyes as a role player in the SMB frontcourt.

And as the Beermen open their training camp Monday, rookie draftees Louie Vigil and Jerome Ortega, and reserves Bacon Austria and Axel Doruelo will be among those who will slug it out for the spots vacated by Ronald Tubid and Rashawn McCarthy.

Coach Leo Austria said Mike Cortez, Dylan Ababou and Billy Mamaril are among free agents also hoping to hook it up with the team.

San Miguel dealt Reyes, Tubid, McCarthy plus a future draft pick in acquiring the draft rights that enabled the team to pick Standhardinger in the recent rookie draft.

June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos get to ease some load off their backs with the entry of Standhardinger by April or May next year.

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“We’re excited. We can now handle situations when  June Mar gets into foul-trouble. June Mar will get some rest or he can play with ‘Stand’ at the same time,” said Austria.

The San Miguel coach dismisses notion they would be unbeatable on the arrival of the 6-foot-8 Fil-German center/forward.

“For sure, we’re a tough team. But there are other tough teams out there,” said Austria.

“Look at the last Philippine Cup, we had a hard time winning games. We only beat TNT in the semifinals as Jayson Castro got injured then Troy Rosario missed a crucial game on his wedding. Then we beat Ginebra in the finals but Greg Slaughter was out on injury then,” Austria pointed out.

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