Beermen tweak roster as they await Standhardinger's availability
Nelson Beltran ( - November 8, 2017 - 5:46am

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Beer is activating from reserve status 6-foot-3 forward Michael Mabulac and will look at its rookie draftees, other reserves and free agents as the team fills spots left vacant as a result of its Christian Standhardinger 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 left 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 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 will be freed some load on the entry of Standhardinger by April or May next year.

“We’re excited. We’ll no longer be alarmed if June Mar gets into foul-trouble situation. June Mar will get some rest or he can play with ‘Stand’ at the same time,” said Austria.

The San Miguel coach disputes 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 then. 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.

“In the Commissioner’s Cup, we beat TNT in the finals as they played with an injured import,” he added.

 Austria considers TNT, Ginebra and Star as their toughest challengers in the coming all-Filipino tourney while pointing to NLEX, Phoenix Petroleum and Blackwater as the dark horse.

“Ginebra will always be a force to reckon with in the presence of Greg Slaughter; TNT is a consistent contender and you’ll never know what will be their final lineup. They may still have upcoming trades. Star has got a good addition in Robert Herndon,” said Austria.

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