SAN Miguel Beer is the defending Governors’ Cup champion in the Philippine Basketball Association, but injuries may make its title defense a lot tougher.
Heading to the season-ending tournament, which opens this Friday, the Beermen are dealing with various injuries to key players and would have to make do with what they have once the ball starts rolling.
Even with resident import Arizona Reid back in harness, San Miguel Beer is expected to miss the services of injured big men Arwind Santos and Gabby Espinas to start the Governors’ Cup.
The two veterans underwent similar arthroscopic surgeries last weekend to fix problems in their knees and are expected to be out for more than a month as they recuperate.
In addition, Marcio Lassiter, who battled severe flu the past month that cost him a spot in the National team, is still not 100 percent though he is already seeing action for the Beermen in tune-up games.
Chris Lutz and Yancy De Ocampo are also experiencing back problems, but both are expected to be ready and play through pain once San Miguel’s campaign starts.
There’s also a possibility that San Miguel Beer superstar and two-time reigning Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo may take a couple of games off to rest following a grueling camp and grind with Gilas Pilipinas.
With all these, San Miguel certainly has a mountain to climb in defending its crown.
Unlike their past campaigns, the Beermen won’t exactly be tagged as a pre-tournament favorite this time as their loaded and deep roster is plagued by injuries.
In other news, Talk ‘N Text top rookie Moala Tautuaa hurt his right shoulder in the Texters’ tune-up game against Phoenix last week.
The severity of his injury is still yet to be determined.
Meanwhile, the Meralco Bolts and the Phoenix Fuel Masters open hostilities of the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday at 4:15 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, before Mahindra and Star Hotshots tangle at 7 p.m.
Opening Games Friday
4:15 Meralco vs Phoenix
7 p.m. Mahindra vs Star