Here is the continuation of the 37th Season Preview
Petron Blaze Boosters
Key newcomer: Chris Lutz. The Smart-Gilas member has a perfect situation in Petron Blaze as many of their veteran big men are still out with injuries. He can get some touches that were for Jay Washington. He can spell Arwind Santos without much loss in talent level.
Key player: Arwind Santos. He played like an import in the last conference. He is once again going to be relied upon by Petron to be a two-way threat. Arwind will once again carry the Boosters on his back.
Key game: October 28 vs. Talk ‘N Text. A rematch of the finals last season will surely be one of the most anticipated match-ups of the conference.
Wildcard: Dondon Hontiveros. A season away after being traded to the Air 21 franchise, Hontiveros is back to his former team. Will he still have a role in the team or will the younger one reduce his playing time.
Key question: Can Petron repeat their magical run last conference?
Key newcomer: Marcio Lassiter. The Smart Gilas starter is expected to create a dangerous tandem with Gary David. The skill set Lassiter makes him a potential superstar in the PBA. He has good height, above average quickness, and solid offensive prowess to be an instant double digit scorer for Powerade.
Key player: Gary David. With new weapons surrounding him, he will have more energy reserved in the crucial moments of a game. He might not be scoring as much but Powerade might be winning more games this season.
Key Game: October 5 vs. Shopinas.Com. They will try to give coach Franz Pumaren a rude welcome to the league. Starting the season 1-0 could give them a boost in the coming battles.
Wildcard: JVee Casio. There is a big pressure with being chosen as the No.1 pick in the draft. If he lives up to his hype then we will be seeing Powerade contending in the later stages of the conference. There is also possibility that he will need more seasoning to run a PBA offense.
Key question: Who will get the rebounds?
Key newcomer: Paul Lee. The No.2 pick in this year’s draft is set to become one of the pillars of a Yeng Guiao-coached squad. Lee has shown that he has the ability to score in the UAAP and the PBL. He is set to make a good run for the Rookie of the Year honors.
Key game: Oct. 14 vs Talk ‘N Text. This will be the first time that Coach Yeng will face Coach Chot Reyes after a near scuffle in the pre-season. May the better coach and team win.
Wilcard: JR Quinahan. After being underutilized by Powerade, he will reunite with Beau Belga to give Yeng Guiao a rugged pair of enforcers who can shoot a mid-range jumper. If used properly, Quinahan can definitely give quality minutes to the team. If not, he will occupy a large area in the bench.
Key question: Will RoS have a breakthrough this year?
Key newcomer: Coach Franz Pumaren. Pumaren’s main job is to make this “new” team competitive in the new season. He has been a champion as a player and as a college coach. It is a very daunting task but he is experienced enough to give Shopinas a fair chance every game.
Key player: Ren Ren Ritualo. A year after just averaging less than 5 points a game with Meralco, Ritualo has an opportunity to revive his career with his collegiate coach. He will be the focal point of the offense initially but his other job is to make his teammates better.
Key game: October 5 vs. Powerade. They will open the season against one of the less stellar teams in the league. It will be a good gauge on how far they will go this season.
Wildcard: Jojo Duncil. A conference removed from a title with Petron, Duncil joins a new team. He will have a chance to be a star on the team but he will be competing with the players who are trying to save their PBA careers.
Key question: How many wins will coach Franz have in his first conference has a head coach?
Key newcomer: Japeth Aguilar. With the team intact after winning 2 of the last 3 PBA conference titles, TNT added one of the country’s top young big men in Aguilar. He will banner a frontline that has Ali Peek, Kelly Williams, Harvey Carey, and Ranidel de Ocampo.
Key player: Season 36 MVP Jimmy Alapag will have to use all his skills and intelligence to maximize the offensive potential of the team. It will not be an easy task to distribute the ball to a 10-deep team.
Key game: October 28 vs. Petron. It will be match-up between Chot Reyes and rival coach Ato Agustin. There is also a possibility that the league lead will be at stake in this game.
Wildcard: Jayson Castro. He has the capability to be a future MVP and he shown flashes of his potential several times last season. With a deeper line-up, the challenge for him is how to maximize the limited minutes that he will have.
Key question: Will they get a grand slam this year?
- 37th PBA Season Preview Part 1 (caloysports.wordpress.com)
- 2011 PBA Press Corps Awardees (caloysports.wordpress.com)
- PBA Draft Results and draft day trades (caloysports.wordpress.com)
- Ex-Green Lancer Mepaña gets drafted in the PBA (cebulive.wordpress.com)
- Petron Blaze slams Talk ‘N Text in epic game 7 to win Governors’ Cup (arvinmasuela.wordpress.com)