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Sunday, May 19, 2024

San Miguel Beer, TNT to carry PH flag at Champions’ Week in Japan

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Reigning Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup champion San Miguel and TNT leave for Japan on Tuesday to carry the Philippine flag and pride in the East Asia Super League Champions’ Week in Japan.

Led by six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, the Beermen depart Manila for the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, while veteran guard Jayson Castro and the Tropang Giga head for the city of Utsunomiya for their respective campaigns in the March 1-5 tournament featuring champion teams from top basketball leagues in this side of Asia.

The Tropang Giga of coach Jojo Lastimosa kicks off the country’s bid in the regional meet on opening day against host team Utsunomiya Brex.

Towering Daniel Ochefu and Jalen Hudson, a replacement for Governors Cup regular import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will reinforce the team. Hollis-Jefferson failed to secure his Japan visa in time for the tournament.

TNT is in Group B along with Utsunomiya, Seoul SK Knights, and recent PBA Commissioner’s Cup guest team and runner up Bay Area Dragons.

On Thursday, the Beermen make their debut against a Ryukyu Golden Kings side that features three-time PBA Best Import Allen Durham and young Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Carl Tamayo.

Cameron Clark and Jessie Govan serve as imports for San Miguel, coached by Jorge Gallent.

San Miguel is in Group A together with Ryukyu, Taipei Fubon Braves, and Anyang KGC.

The Tropang Giga return to action on Friday against the Knights, while the Beermen face former NCAA Rookie-MVP and Gilas member Renz Abando and Anyang the following day.

The top two teams to emerge in Group A and B will dispute the championship and the $250,000 prize purse that comes with it, while the no.2 teams in each group battle for third place.

Runner up will receive $100,000 and third place $50,000.

The championship round will be played in Okinawa.

San Miguel and TNT earned the right to represent the Philippines in the tournament after making the finals of the last Philippine Cup.

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