Petron Blaze parades a new import as three other teams seek an important victory to avoid a 0-2 start in the 2011 PBA Governors Cup Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Boosters tapped University of Southern Mississipi product Jeremy Wise to replace the ineffective Ricky Harris in their game against Air 21 at 7:15 p.m., the two teams’ first meeting since their blockbuster trade last conference.
Powerade and B-MEG also eye their first win in their own battle at 5 p.m.
After getting almost nothing from Harris in their 100-105 loss to Meralco, Petron decided to send him home and bring in Wise for their match against the Express.
“Mahirap matalo ulit, masyadong maiksi lang ang tournament and we need this win against Air 21,” said Petron head coach Ato Agustin.
Agustin will his former wards Danny Seigle, Dorian Pena, Dondon Hontiveros and Paul Artadi, who were traded by the Boosters to the Express for rookies Raba Al-Hussaini, Nonoy Baclao and Rey Guevarra.
Wise, who played for Bakersfield Jam in the NBA D-League, arrived this morning and joined the team’s shootaround.
“Kailangan lang muna niya ma-familiarize sa set plays kasi nga kararating lang,” said Agustin. “Sana okay ang ipakita but the locals must also do their part.”
The Express were bamboozled by league-leader Rain or Shine on Wednesday, 94-116.
“We were inconsistent last night. Kailangan makabawi,” said Air 21 mentor Bong Ramos on Thursday.
The Express are banking on Alpha Bangura, the four ex-Petron players, and new recruit KG Canaleta.
For its part, Powerade also hopes that the locals can provide import Chris Porter the needed support when the Tigers face the Llamados in the opening tiff. Porter had 38 points and 16 rebounds in Powerade’s 80-92 loss to Barangay Ginebra but the locals failed to support him.
B-MEG also dropped its opening assignment to the Elasto Painters, 82-95, last Saturday, and coach Jorge Gallent hopes that import Stefon Hannah can bounce back after a miserable debut.
Hannah had 8 points on 4 –of-23 shooting against RoS and was 0-of-11 from the 3-point zone.