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2014-15 San Miguel Beermen Primer



2013-14 Standings: SMB

Philippine Cup1043rdDefeated Energy Cola 2-0 in a best-of-3 quarterfinalsLost to Painters 4-1 in semifinals
Commissioner’s Cup722ndLost to Express in the quarterfinals (had twice-to-beat advantage)
Governor’s Cup545thLost to Mixers in the quarterfinals (had twice-to-beat disadvantage)


2013-14 Team Leaders
PPGJune Mar Fajardo16.76
APGChris Ross5.09
RPGJune Mar Fajardo14.16
BPGJune Mar Fajardo2.08
SPGChris Ross1.89

Players Lost: Chico Lanete (dispersal draft), Sam Marata (Free Agent)
2014 Draft Pick: #3 pick: Ronald Pascual
Players Added: Ronald Pascual (Rookie Draft)

2014 Projected Depth Chart:

CJune Mar FajardoDoug KramerJustin Chua
FArwind SantosRico Maierhofer
FChris LutzNelbert Omolon
GMarcio LassiterRonald PascualRonald Tubid
GChris RossSolomon MercadoPaolo Hubalde


The Bandwagon Wire Says

San Miguel coaching carousel alert! If you thought the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel team had the worst coaching carousel over the last 5 years, the Beermen arguably has a much worse coaching turnover compared to their sister team. Here’s the list of the team’s coaches over the last 2 years (NOTE: Ginebra had 4 coaches in 5 years)

2012Ato Agustin
2012-13Olsen Racela
2013-14 (Comm Cup)Gee Abanilla
2014 (Gov Cup)Biboy Ravanes
PresentLeo Austria

Let’s do some math! The PBA has 3 conferences per season. During the 38th and 39th season of the PBA, the Beermen had 4 coaches. Technically, the franchise changed coaches once every conference and a half! And we haven’t even included TODD PURVES into the mix! Oh wait, he’s here lurking in the shadows.

Now with Coach Leo Austria at the helm, who we at the Bandwagon Wire worship, finally the team has a no non-sense coach who won’t give a damn about player egos.


Whatever happened to Chris Lutz?

Chris Lutz. The #3 pick in the 2011 PBA Draft. Former Men’s Basketball National Team member.

Last season was not a good year for Chris Lutz. Oh wait, it was a terrible year for Lutz! It’s as if the guy aged 5 years after having an efficient 2011-12 campaign. He even got his wish to be paired with his closest friend from the National Team program Marcio Lassiter. Here are Lutz’s averages from last season compared to 2 years ago:

PBA 3826.058.403.14.581.6039.5%78.3%
PBA 3926.838.562.980.492.2735.9%73.8%

Even though Lutz played a tad more minutes last season, his overall efficiency went down. Even his deadly midrange shooting was nowhere to be seen. To properly stretch the floor, the Beermen badly need Lutz to knock-down jumpers and slash to the rim.

The Kraken vs. Spiderman

Being just 24 years young, June Mar Fajardo is without a doubt the best player in Philippine basketball today. He is the gem of, not only the San Miguel Beermen, but of the men’s basketball national team program. Last season was just the 1st of many most valuable player trophies the gentle giant will receive in his lifetime.

However, there’s another alpha dog in the SMB franchise. The PBA Most Valuable Player from 2 seasons ago, Arwind Santos. Let’s compare the season’s of Fajardo and Santos last year in this edition of HEAD-TO-HEAD:

Arwind SantosJune Mar Fajardo
36.00 (2nd)MPG35.49 (4th)
15.14 (6th)PPG16.76 (2nd)
8.64 (4th)RPG14.16 (1st)
1.05 (4th)BPG2.08 (1st)
261Total FGM207
599Total FGA377
43.6% (25th)FG%54.9% (2nd)
68.3% (33rd)FT%62.8% (47th)
15 (5th)# of double-doubles29 (1st)
1.62 (26th)TOPG3.05 (1st)

Going into year 3 of the Fajardo-Santos combination, the combination has only given the franchise 2 semifinals appearances. The entire franchise had to trade stretch forward Jay Washington and SMB-mainstay Dorian Pena just to accommodate the combination. We’ll take a look at how this combination just does not mesh well in a future edition of Stats Don’t Lie.

2014 Philippine Cup Prediction

So will the SMB soap opera end this conference? With the hiring of Coach Austria, the opera will surely end this season… but not this conference. Our prediction?

Our prediction: 6th place after the elimination round, eliminated in the quarterfinals

 2014-15 PBA Philippine Cup Primers

TBT - PBA - Alaska Aces-01TBT - PBA - Barako Bull-01
TBT - PBA - Ginebra Gin Kings-01TBT - PBA - Global Port Batang Pier-01
TBT - PBA - Meralco Bolts-01TBT - PBA - NLEX Roadwarriors-01
TBT - PBA - Purefoods Hotshots-01TBT - PBA - Rain or Shine Elasto Painters-01
TBT - PBA - San Miguel Beermen-01TBT - PBA - Talk N Text Tropang Texters-01
TBT - PBA - Blackwater Elite & Kia Sorrento-01
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Roger Pogoy churns best performance against former teammates



Prior to Wednesday, all eyes were on the TNT Katropa-Blackwater Elite face-off, with many curious to see how last season’s Rookie of the Year Roger Pogoy would fare against his former FEU teammates Mac Belo and Raymar Jose.

And as the final buzzer sounded, the 25-year-old Pogoy had reigned triumphant over his close pals, getting away with a conference-best performance as a bonus.

The six-foot-two Cebuano sniper fired a game-high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, along with eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals, to lead the Texters to a skid-ending, 92-83 victory at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

“Must-win talaga namin ‘to para makabawi kami, kasi 1-2 na yung standing namin (before the game) eh.

“Buti na lang maganda yung nilaro ko,” said Pogoy, who was just averaging 11.3 points in the past three games.

But Pogoy tipped his hat to the much taller Elite, who enjoyed plenty of time in the driver’s seat in the first half, until the Katropa found their groove in the third canto — highlighted by a 16-3 rally that put them ahead, 60-53.

“Malakas yung Blackwater eh, tapos ang lalaki nila kaya mahirap mag-drive, mahirap pumasa kasi naagaw nila,” said Pogoy. “Buti na lang naka-adjust kami nung second half. Hindi kami nagmadali, dinahan-dahan namin.”

Aside from his own outing, Pogoy is thankful that they were able to address their fourth quarter woes when facing the Elite — the issue that hounded them in their 76-88 loss to the San Miguel Beermen last Saturday in Iloilo.

TNT had actually been mere steps away from melting down — again — against Blackwater, no thanks to a 20-9 run that wiped out their 17-point lead to just six,

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With Nash Racela knowing his tendencies, Mac Belo limited to poor shooting



Prior to Wednesday, Blackwater Elite’s young star Mac Belo was on a roll early in the 2018 Philippine Cup, averaging exactly 20 points on 42.6 percent shooting in their games against Meralco, Rain or Shine, and Ginebra.

But, as they say, good things must come to an end.

Belo, despite having 13 rebounds, was held to just nine points on 4-of-18 shooting as the Elite bowed to TNT Katropa, 92-83 — a sour loss knowing that they’re coming off huge 94-77 win against Ginebra last Friday.

“Bukol,” said Belo in jest of his poor outing after the match. “Big test para sa’min kasi yung TNT talagang isang de-kalibreng team dito sa PBA.

“Talagang pinaghandaan nila kami, at gustong-gusto nila manalo.”

It also did not help that the Katropa’s head coach, Nash Racela, was his coach in FEU Tamaraws for three years — a relationship brightly highlighted by a championship run in the UAAP Season 78 back in 2015.

“Siyempre alam niya yung mga tendencies ko. Matagal ko siyang coach sa FEU,” said the 6-foot-4 forward.

“Sa akin naman, kailangan ko pa matuto sa ganun, kung anong mga defense binabato niya sakin. Kailangan ko pang pag-aralan.”

But for Belo, the loss was more than his own showing. The 25-year-old lamented his and the Elite’s lapses on defense, which was encapsulated by the second half collapse they had that allowed TNT to come back and steal the win.

“Medyo marami lang kaming lapses especially sa defense namin,” said the sophomore forward, as they allowed TNT to shoot 41.6 percent from the floor. “Maraming mga miscommunication na kailangan pa namin i-work.”

Belo and the Elite are now set to move on from this bitter defeat, as they all shift their sights in their match this Friday versus GlobalPort Batang Pier. For the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart, it is already a must-win for them.

“Kailangan namin ng rest ngayon kasi back-to-back games kami. We need to win sa Friday para okay sa’min,” said Belo. “Kailangan din namin paghandaan kasi galing sila sa win.

“Kailangan namin i-double yung effort namin.”

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Jake Vicen performs under pressure as Blazers end eight-year title drought



For the second straight match, the championship showdown between the College of Saint Benilde Blazers and the Arellano University Chiefs reached kicks from the penalty spot. And once more, goalkeeper Jake Vicen came up big.

The third-year custodian denied one of Arellano’s prolific scorers Roberto Corsame in the shootout and sealed the title after eight long years, 3-2, penalties, Wednesday evening at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Blazers made its intentions clear from the get-go as they repeatedly pierced through the defense of the Chiefs.

Nonetheless, at the 38th minute, the white-shirts clinched the goal they much deserved. The Blazers pushed forward, and almost got a call in their favor. The referees, however, played advantage, and fortunately Benilde held on to the play.

Miguel Artillera found himself unmarked on the right flank and easily blasted the ball past opposing keeper Jericho Desalisa.

The Marlon Maro—mentored side continued to play aggressive in the following period and almost plucked a second one. This time, the Chiefs’ backline led by eventual Best Defender Patrick Bernarte held on.

Such stand was rewarded by their attacking force minutes later, and, as expected, the equalizer came from the counterattack.

Corsame received a pass from the middle and defeated two defenders, and seeing Vicen off his line, sent the ball into the onion bag at the 49th minute.

Both sides tried to break the deadlock, but fatigue slowly crept in the dying minutes of the second period and the whole of extra time, setting up another thrilling finish in the shootout.

Much like in Game 2, the two keepers came up big as Desalisa and Vicen denied their second kickers a clear shot. Arellano went to miss another shot, and it was then up to the Blazers to seal the deal.

Dean Ebarle stepped up and calmly and slotted the ball into the goal for the lead at 3-2. Afterwards, Corsame faced Vicen, but this time, the Cebuano keeper would not be denied. The latter went to his strong side, and, fortunately, guessed right for the huge save as pandemonium erupted from the Benilde crowd and squad.

The Finals series hero and season Best Goalkeeper Vicen was pleased that the new champions carved out the historic win despite early adversity. “Big loss ‘yun, si Val [Calvo], kasi may magagawa talaga siya kung nakalaro namin,” he said of losing their former captain.

Nonetheless, the squad stayed focused on getting it done this year.

“Binuhos lang namin every minute sa training. Luckily, hard work paid off,” closed Vicen.

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Kelly Williams rides Angkas to make it to TNT game



The TNT Katropa almost played shorthanded when they took on the Blackwater Elite Wednesday evening at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Early in the afternoon, a fire broke out in C5 that caused major traffic in the area. One of the people that was stuck was TNT’s 12-year veteran Kelly Williams.

“Coming from the South, I got to Taguig in about two and a half hours and I heard there was a fire on C5 and I was like, ‘Oh my god what am I going to do?’,” recalled Williams.

“I considered running, I considered jogging. Whatever you got to do, crawl, walk or run.”

Panicking, the 6-foot-6 Filipino-American was adviced by his driver to download Philippine-based mobile app Angkas — a motorcycle service provider. And it was one heck of a ride for the big man.

“My driver said check Angkas, an Uber for motorcycles. Okay. Quickly got out of the car in the middle of the C5, the middle of traffic, found this guy under the overpass, he was surprised to see me,” narrated animatedly by Williams.

“I got my helmet on, jumped on the bicycle and we got here for about 40 minutes,” he furthered. “Every stoplight, the other motorcycles pull up, double take, ‘Oh, what are you doing here?’, ‘Hi guys!’ It was fun, it was actually pretty fun but never again, make sure you plan ahead guys if you possibly get stuck in traffic.

“But it was a good experience for me. You get to see Manila in a different light.”

Around midway through the first quarter of the game, Williams finally arrived. Though relieved to see him, coach Nash Racela and the rest of the Katropa made sure to let him know that he was late.

“Good experience, I apologized to the team, I owe them a team lunch or something and I told coach I won’t do it again,” the 35-year-old expressed.

“Let’s pray that it doesn’t happen again.”

Williams compensated for it by giving TNT quality minutes. During their 92-83 win against the Elite, he tallied six points, six rebounds, and four blocks in just 17 minutes of action.

“You got to come out there with extra effort after coming in late like that. But it’s always my intention to come out and do whatever I have to do,” he expressed.

“Luckily, I was in a good position to get some blocks and it worked out that way.”

And he owes a lot to his driver Richard, who got him to the venue just in time.

“It was a good experience though, thank you to the cyclist, I think his name is Richard or something like that, he’s a lifesaver.

“I tipped him very handsomely. It was about a hundred but I’m sure I paid with whatever was in my pocket because I was very grateful,” he quipped.

Still, he knows that he also owes a lot to his team. He plans on making it up by treating everyone to lunch during their next practice.

Lesson learned for Kelly.

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