San Miguel will resume its campaign in the 2021 PBA Governor’s Cup with renewed vigor after original import Brandon Brown was replaced with the returning Orlando Johnson.
The 32-year old former Brgy. Ginebra reinforcement arrived in the country before the New Year but was only allowed to join the team on the first week of February as the national government finally gave the go-signal for 5-on-5 scrimmages following the downward trend of COVID-19 cases.
Johnson, who is coming off a stint with the Brisbane Bullets in Australia’s National Basketball League, is currently the coaching staff’s focus as they try to inculcate him into the Beermen’s system as fast as possible.
Team manager Gee Abanilla bared that the 6-foot-5 shooting guard has been inactive during his first month in the country as team practices were put on hold by the league following the surge of infections after the holidays.
“So ang tagal din niyang hindi nakapag-laro, nakapag-practice, kaya yung una niyang labas para siyang nakawala sa hawla,” said Abanilla.
“Nakapag-practice siya sa amin ng individual groups. So nakita ko na rin. Wala pa siyang legs noon (jetlag), pero shooter pa rin.”
A second round pick, 36th overall, of the Sacramento Kings in the 2012 NBA draft, Johnson averaged 33.7 points and 11.3 rebounds during his stint with Gin Kings seven years ago.
He powered the squad into the playoffs but were booted out in the quarterfinal round by the Romeo Travis-led Alaska Aces.
The Beermen, who are on a three-game winning run after dropping their first two, take on the slumping TNT Tropang Giga on Wednesday, February 16 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.