Marcio Lassiter won’t be the only new face loading up the Petron Blaze Boosters’ title defense bid in the Governors’ Cup.
Versatile forward Jay Washington and star rookie Chris Lutz will be both be in action when the Boosters open their retention campaign against the Powerade Tigers Sunday at the Ynares Center, according to Petron assistant coach Gee Abanilla.
Washington led the franchise, then known as the San Miguel Beermen, to the finals of the Philippine Cup last season and won Best Player of the Conference honors along the way, before injuring his knee midway through the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup. Before the injury, Washington was averaging career-high numbers in scoring and rebounding.
His absence, however, allowed the emergence of Arwind Santos for the Boosters in the Governors’ Cup. With more opportunities, Santos won Best Player of the Conference honors in the perhaps the finest tournament of his career, and led Petron to the title.
Meanwhile, Lutz, the No. 3 overall pick in this season’s draft, missed significant parts of the first two tournaments this year. His presence is expected to bolster the Boosters’ swingman rotation that would also include Lassiter, Joseph Yeo, and import Eddie Basden.
That wing crew is expected to become more crowded later in the tournament, as veteran sharpshooter Dondon Hontiveros is expected to return from his knee injury.
Apart from Lassiter, Petron also reacquired the services of Dorian Pena over the midseason break in a trade with Barako Bull.
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