COMING into the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup the question on everyone’s mind is: Can anyone stop the San Miguel Beermen?
The answer is probably not because the Beermen are gunning for nothing less than another PBA Grand Slam and no team seems capable of stopping them from winning at least the Commissioner’s Cup.
The Beermen have June Mar Fajardo who has turned into the most dominant player in the history of the league. He has six PBA Best Player of the Conference awards, which is the most by any player. He has four MPV awards and he’s just 28. Ramon Fernandez won his fourth MVP award at age 35.
And they have more than just Fajardo. The Beermen have a host of talented veterans led by Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross and Arwind Santos to complete arguably one of the best-ever starting unit the league has ever seen.
They have a deep bench led by shock troopers Gabby Espinas, Yancy De Ocampo, Billy Mamaril, Chico Lanete and David Semerad.
And they have an excellent coach who has learned to use the most out of his players and win championships in Leo Austria.
How good are the Beermen? They just won their fourth straight Philippine Cup crown—the first team to do so in the league—after defeating the Magnolia Hotshots 4-1 in a best-of-seven championship that is as lopsided as the score indicated.
And they were led by Fajardo who finished with 42 points and 20 rebounds for the Beermen.
And in a case of the rich getting richer the Beermen will have probably the best big man to come into the league since… well since Fajardo himself in Christian Standhardinger when they compete next conference.
Is there reason to hope that the other teams could beat the Beermen this coming conference?
Well the players could get overconfident, complacent and not give their best. Or, players could go down with injuries. One of the other teams could have a dominant import who’s good enough to lead them to a PBA crown. Remember Justin Brownlee who led Barangay Ginebra to a Governors’ Cup crown?
One or more of these scenarios could happen and the Beermen could finally be stopped from winning this conference title. Or carabaos could fly and jump over the moon. Which is to say, not likely.