San Miguel Beer and NorthPort meet for the first time in an anticipated match up after a surprise swap of prized big men last week in the resumption of the 2019 Philippine Basketball Governors’ Cup.
The Beermen (5-1) look to take solo second place when they go head-to-head with the struggling Batang Pier (2-4) at 7 p.m. at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City tonight.
Preceding this is a battle between two ailing squads as Blackwater (2-4) and Rain or Shine (1-5) go all out for a win as they try to stay in good contention for a spot in the top eight.
San Miguel can overtake NLEX (5-1) and move closer to securing a berth in the quarterfinals with another victory.
In a one-on-one swap that no one saw coming, San Miguel Beer surprisingly sent prolific big Christian Standhardinger to NorthPort in exchange for Mo Tautuaa as the two former No. 1 picks switched places early last week.
Tautuua already made his debut as a Beerman, scoring 10 points and grabbing six rebounds in the team’s last win, a 113-107, conquest of Columbian Dyip last Sunday.
Despite a nagging knee injury, Standhardinger is determined to make his Batang Pier debut against no less than his former team.
“My knee is getting better and I’m very positive I can play,” he said.
Aside from Standhardinger, NorthPort will be parading a new import in Michael Qualls in hopes of salvaging its sagging campaign.
Qualls, a product of Arkansas, will take the place of the inconsistent Mychal Ammons.
The Batang Pier was actually coming off an 80-70 win over Phoenix over the weekend.
The Elite and the Elasto Painters are both aching for wins to keep their hopes of landing a post-season ticket alive.
Rain or Shine also brings in a new import in the returning Kwame Alexander, a former reinforcement of NLEX, to replace Cayel Locke.