Defending champion San Miguel Beer and Meralco face off for a chance to extend their winning streak to three games on Wednesday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
The Beermen, who have weathered a slow start and the loss of Terrence Romeo to injury inside the bubble known as Smart Clark Giga City, and Bolts clash at 6:45 p.m. as the two teams with similar 3-2 slates aim to stay in good form entering the halfway point of their elimination round campaigns.
Blackwater is scheduled to face Magnolia at 4 p.m. days after a COVID-19 situation that affected one of its players forced the PBA to cancel the Elite’s game against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
The PBA plugged on its social media accounts the Blackwater-Magnolia clash as part of the Wednesday doubleheader, barring another last-minute decision by the league.
The Elite were allowed to resume regular activities including practice last Monday after they were isolated following an initial positive test received by their player. He has since yielded a negative result on his antigen and RT-PCR tests but is still quarantined at the Athlete’s Village in Capas, Tarlac.
SMB bucked a 1-2 start, including two straight defeats since the restart, by posting victories over Terrafirma and Alaska.
Mo Tautuaa has been key for the Beermen during the streak, averaging 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists and is arguably considered as the team’s best player.
Tautuaa’s performance holds importance since he’s filling a huge void left by June Mar Fajardo while Romeo’s departure due to a dislocated shoulder left the Beermen without one of their best scorers.
Meralco defeated Magnolia and NLEX behind an improved showing from Chris Newsome, who was named Player of the Week by the PBA Press Corps.
Newsome got the nod after producing 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.5 blocks in the two games.
Having Newsome perform well bodes for well for Meralco, which is eyeing a strong showing in the Philippine Cup following a streak of lousy performances in the season’s most important tournament.