Three-time All-Filipino champion San Miguel, Barangay Ginebra and Talk N’ Text have been unanimously picked by the Board of Governors as the teams to beat this coming 43rd Philippine Basketball Association.
All twelve teams were united in their stand of hailing the three teams as being on another league of their own in contending for the prestigious Philippine Cup title as said in the press conference on Wednesday at the Okada Manila in Parañaque City.
The Beermen, bannered by reigning four-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo still remains as the number one team among their other eleven rival teams and are a cinch for an unpredented fourth straight All Pinoy championship.
And that is not a far-fetched feat as SMB maintained its intact core surrounding the behemoth Fajardo led by two-time Defensive Player of the Year Chris Ross, Comm’s Cup Finals MVP Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos — all Mythical Five members — alongside top gunner Marcio Lassiter.
Not too far behind them are the Gin Kings and the KaTropa who had been touted by the board as the closest threats for SMB.
With a healthy Greg Slaughter back for Ginebra, the crowd darlings have now the chance to avenge the 4-1 loss to SMB in last year’s Phillipine Cup finals.
After winning the Best Player of the Conference plum in Governors’ Cup, the 7’0 Ginebra giant is seen as also the daunting competitor to the 6’10 Fajardo and the Beermen’s supremacy.
KaTropa, with their ever-known fast-paced offense and sharpshooting prowess, are likewise should not be looked over especially with a solid core bannered by no less than the two-time Best Point Guard in Asia, Jayson Castro.
Meanwhile, the revamped Globalport Batang Pier and the NLEX Road Warriors were picked as the darkhorses in the first conference.
The 43rd season of the Asia’s oldest professional league opens on December 17 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
SMB takes on Phoenix at 6:45 pm just right after the opening ceremonies at 4pm.