For the first time in the 2015-16 Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup, Meralco Bolts will see action today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The newly-overhauled Meralco squad will face defending champions San Miguel Beermen at 7pm tonight.
Jimmy Alapag will play for Bolts for the first time, after 12 years playing for Talk ‘N Text. He has briefly stood as TNT manager prior to his transfer to Meralco, Business World Online noted.
Inquirer noted that Meralco’s backcourt is likely to become more stable now that Alapag joined the team.
Former rookie of the year Rabeh Al-Hussaini is also returning. Al-Hussaini last played with Meralco in 2013. Bryan Faundo, Ronjay Buenafe, and rookie draftee Chris Newsome are all joining the Bolts, too.
Meralco core players’ Gary David, Jared Dillinger, Cliff Hodge, Rey Hugnatan, Rey Guevarra, John Ferriols and Kelly Nabong are all expected to see action today.
Meralco coach Norman Black was pleased with this team for his second season with the Bolts.
“We are complete and relatively healthy except for the absence of Baser Amer who is still with San Beda,” Black told Inquirer.
Black admitted that it will be a tough game with the Beermen, but his team is ready for it.
“Solid team defense will be the key because San Miguel is loaded with weapons and you cannot just concentrate on one person,” said Black.
The Beermen just came from an impressive win against GlobalPort Batang Pier, 97-86, in Davao City over the weekend. Reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo led his team, and finish with 21 points and 17 rebounds.
Currently, San Miguel Beermen is sharing the number two spot with Alaska Aces and NLEX Road Warriors at the PBA Philippine Cup team standing.
Meanwhile, Alaska Aces, who is aiming for a back-to-back win, will face against Blackwater Elite at 4:15 p.m. today.
The Aces beat Talk ‘N Text on Friday, 114-98.
Catch the games today in live streaming here.
View PBA schedule here.