SMB makes last-minute import change in Commissioner’s Cup debut vs Blackwater

PHILIPPINE Cup champion San Miguel Beer opens its Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup campaign on Wednesday with a last-minute change of import against Blackwater at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Thomas Robinson, a highly-caliber 6-foot-10 reinforcement who played for several National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, couldn’t play because of back spasm and according to team manager Gee Abanilla, they had to call in another former NBA big man, Diamond Stone, for the 3 p.m. game against the Bossing.

“He [Robinson] couldn’t move his body due to back spasm a few days back,” Abanilla said. “Diamond Stone just arrived today [Tuesday] and it will be his first time he’s practicing with us.”

The 6-foot-10 Stone played center for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2016 and toured various leagues with Taiwan’s professional league T1 as his most recent stop last year.

Blackwater, holding a 1-2 win-loss record, already learned of the development at San Miguel Beer and coach Ariel Vanguardia said his wards are ready.

“We have to take care of June Mar [Fajardo] and their new import,” Blackwater coach Ariel said Vanguardia, who’ll be pinning much of the Bossing’s hopes on reinforcement Cameron Krutwig.

Blackwater almost upset Magnolia last Saturday, 105-109 defeat.

Magnolia, meanwhile, aims for a 3-0 start to tie league-leader Hong Kong Bay Area Dragons as the Hotshots square off with the TNT Tropang Giga at 5:45 p.m.

The Hotshots will be banking on Serbian import Nicholas Rakocevic, who is averaging 33.0 points and 24.5 rebounds in two games.

TNT, with new acquisitions Calvin Oftana and Raul Soyud, is also debuting in the conference with import Cameron Oliver.


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