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Oct 10, 2019

Triple Crown-seeking Beermen, defending champ Hotshots clash in an explosive match-up

Grand slam-chasing San Miguel faces its first acid test as the Beermen tangle with the PBA Governors Cup titleholder Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Friday.

It's an explosive matchup between two teams setting out for battle riding the momentum of sizzling three-game streaks.

San Miguel is one of two remaining unbeaten teams while Magnolia has gone berserk since dropping its opening match against Meralco.

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero is thankful they're tested in a wringer versus the Alaska Milk Aces the last time out, believing that match could serve them in good stead in facing the Beermen.

Coach Leo Austria's chargers also had a good prep ahead of their match opposite Magnolia as they were pushed to the limit by the NLEX Road Warriors in their Dubai sojourn. The Beermen grinded out a 98-94 victory.

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Earlier, the Beermen stamped their class on the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters, 130-119, and on the Alaska Milk Aces, 109-83.

San Miguel is on a scorching start in pursuit of the last jewel to a possible Triple Crown with its star-studded local crew further boosted by prolific import Dez Wells.

The Raleigh, North Carolina native, however, can well have his first tough matchup in Romeo Travis, a former Best Import awardee with Alaska Milk and champion import with Magnolia.

Victolero and the Magnolia locals have been all praises of Travis, a positive influence who makes his teammates play better.

"Ang lamang siguro namin sa San Miguel is the fact that we have a good chemistry with Romeo Travis," said Victolero.

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The Beermen, however, surely have the advantage in firepower even as they're missing the services of the injury-hit Marcio Lassiter.

His spot is partly covered by Von Pessumal who averages 6.0 points on 43-percent three-point clip.

And there's Wells with his mouth-watering norms of 33.0 points, 9.67 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

Travis, meanwhile, puts in 20.5 markers, 12.5 boards and 4.75 assists an outing.(SB)