Heavyweights face killer stretch

We’re playing in the Commissioner’s Cup, the EASL and the Governors’ Cup.

June Mar Fajardo and San Miguel Beer are headed for a killer stretch in the next seven months. | Photograph by Rio deluvio for the daily tribune @tribunephl_rio

San Miguel Beer and TNT Tropang Giga face tough challenges when they see action in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.

Beermen head coach Leo Austria admitted that their campaign will not be easy as they contend against fresher, stronger teams in this import-flavored conference that starts on 21 September.

After the Commissioner’s Cup, the Beermen and the Tropang Giga will be vying in the East Asia Super League before campaigning in the season-ending Governors’ Cup.

Although the Beermen and the Tropang Giga will have a short break following an intense best-of-seven finals series that ended over the weekend, Austria admitted that keeping their composure will not be easy.

“We’re playing in the Commissioner’s Cup, the EASL and the Governors’ Cup. That’s like seven straight months of basketball,” Austria said.

The Tropang Giga are also facing similar predicament.

But more than the Commissioner’s Cup, the EASL and the Governors’ Cup, the Tropang Giga might also see action in the fifth and sixth windows of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in November and February, respectively.

In a meeting last Thursday, the PBA board of governors already approved its continuous support to the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, including the lending of players to the Gilas Pilipinas program.

Gilas head coach Chot Reyes’ selection, however, would be limited to two to three teams for minimal distraction during the Commissioner’s Cup.

The Beermen will be powered by National Basketball Association lottery pick Thomas Robinson in the Commissioner’s Cup before Marcus Weathers join them in the EASL.

Robinson, the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, is the highest NBA draftee ever to play in the PBA since 1987 third overall selection Dennis Hopson played for Purefoods in 1996.

Weathers, for his part, is a 6-foot-5 forward who played college ball for Southern Methodist University.

TNT, meanwhile, will bank on former Houston Rocket Cameron Oliver in the Commissioner’s Cup while it has yet to announce its additional reinforcement in the EASL that starts on 12 October.

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