Mo makes debut with SMB
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - October 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel unleashes high-profile trade acquisition Mo Tautuaa as the Beermen go for a bounce-back win in the PBA Governors’ Cup elims today against Columbian Dyip at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Tautuaa, whom SMB tabbed from NorthPort in exchange for Christian Standhardinger, is expected to make his first appearance at 4:30 p.m. as the powerhouse squad (4-1) sets out to regain its winning ways after a 124-129 setback to Barangay Ginebra.

The duel between the grandslam-seeking Beermen and the upset-conscious Dyip (3-3) serves as an explosive curtain-raiser for the anticipated Manila Clasico showdown between defending champion Magnolia (3-3) and Ginebra (2-2) at 6:45 p.m.

SMB shocked observers last week when it shipped Standhardinger to get Tautuaa in a deal Beermen coach Leo Austria described as “not a popular decision but a logical one.” He explained that the Fil-German, who gets limited minutes with them, will have more chances of unraveling his full-potential with the Batang Pier.

Austria expects Tautuaa to provide solid backup to Fajardo and man the fort himself if need arises.

“With Mo, we got a reliable big man who can post up, play defense and and even has perimeter shooting,” said Austria, whose team is looking to grab a share of No. 2 with NLEX and boost its drive for the Top 4 in the playoffs.

Columbian eyes a rebound from a 111-117 loss to NLEX last Wednesday with another upset over the Beermen. The Dyip have ambushed SMB in their previous meetings, 124-118, in the Philippine Cup and 134-132 in the Commissioner’s Cup. But coach Johnedel Cardel won’t get carried away with this record.

“Our previous wins over San Miguel came early in the tournament, when they were not complete yet and probably still hung over from the championship. This is a different situation now. They’re off to a good start, 4-0, and we’re now midway into the tournament,” said Cardel.

In the second game, the Gin Kings eye a followup to their big victory over SMB battling a Hotshots side raring to get out of a two-game slump.

“Big game for both teams. They’re coming off losses. We’re coming off a win and we’re right around each other in the standings,” said Ginebra tactician Tim Cone.

The Hotshots set their sights on getting back on track with import Romeo Travis, who missed the last four minutes of their 89-90 setback to SMB and sat out their 89-95 defeat to Blackwater due to ankle injury, back in the fold.

“Romeo will play tomorrow (tonight),” said Magnolia’s Chito Victolero.

Notes: Unbeaten pacesetter TNT KaTropa (7-0) and Blackwater (2-4) shook hands for a swap involving guards Byran Heruela and Mike Digregorio. Digregorio’s addition, according to TNT coach Bong Ravena, should add firepower to the team’s long-range arsenal. “Three-point shooting is a huge part of our offense. We have identified Mike as being one of the most consistent shooters in the PBA from a distance, both off the dribble and off the pass. He spaces the floor and gives more room for our other players to attack and he will also be good in our defensive system,” said Ravena of the Fil-Italian.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with