MANILA—Co-leader San Miguel Beermen try to assure themselves of a top four slot and twice-to-beat advantage when they face cellar-dweller Blackwater Elite today in the 40th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governor’s Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen, with a playoff berth already tucked under their belt following a 7-2 slate, are expected to have an easy sailing over the Elites in their 4:15 p.m. encounter. The Elites will have Marcus Cousin as import in the absence of naturalized Filipino player Marcus Douthit, who is playing with the Philippine national team in the on-going 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
In the other game, defending champion Purefoods Star Hotshots battle for survival as they tangle against Talk ‘N Text at 7 p.m.
Coach Leo Austria’s Beermen rolled to their seventh straight win by beating Talk ‘N Text, 101-96, to tie the longest winning streak in the season. They have been undefeated for a month and their last setback was to Meralco last May 9.
“Our goal is really to get into the top four. This game is really important for us to avoid any complication to get into the top four and I think we are in the best position to get it,” said Austria.
Austria will again lean on 6’4 import Arizona Rei, who averaged 27.11 points, 10.33 rebounds and four assists a game. He scored 29 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in their game against the Tropang Texters last June 9.
Alex Cabagnot along with Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos, Ronald Tubid and reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo are also expected to provide the needed support for Austria’s charges.