San Miguel Beer will be coming back in the the PBA next conference with hopes of retaining their loss glory following a disappointing campaign by the Petron Blaze Boosters (the former name of San Miguel) in the Philippine Cup despite an All-Star cast and a great showing in the elimination.
The Blaze Boosters loss to Rain Or Shine in the semifinals and managed only a single victory.
San Miguel Beer, the flagship brand of the giant SMC conglomerate, will parade a revamped coaching staff and a beefed-up roster.
New head coach Biboy Ravanes and consultant Todd Purves will have at their disposal a lineup souped up by new trade acquisitions Sol Mercado and Rico Maierhofer.
Out to make an immediate impact in its PBA return, San Miguel Beer entered into a complex trade deal with Globalport, Barako Bull and Air21 involving five other players and two future draft rights.
The Beermen, reverting back to their old banner from Petron Blaze, acquired Mercado from the Batang Pier in a straight swap for Alex Cabagnot and got Maierhofer from the Energy Cola for Jason Deutchman and their second round picks in the 2016 and 2017 Rookie Draft.
Part of the deal approved by commissioner Chito Salud was the transfer of Leo Najorda from Globalport to Barako Bull, Jonas Villanueva from Barako Bull to Air21 and Bonbon Custodio from Air21 to Globalport.
A more complex trade proposal, involving San Miguel’s Yousef Taha and Globalport’s Justin Chua, was nixed due to technicality.
A league rule prohibits traded players from returning to their former teams until after two conferences.
Taha was supposed to be traded back to Globalport for Chua.
Earlier, San Miguel Beer effected a coaching staff overhaul, with Ravanes elevated from assistant to head coach and Gee Abanilla moving from head coach to team manager.
Ravanes is to work closely with their foreign consultant Purves, the same strategy the team applied during the time of Olsen Racela and Rajko Toroman.
San Miguel Beer has actually been rebuilding the past three years but with not much success.
Expect San Miguel to rely on behemoth Junemar Fajardo next conference as what they did in the Philippine Cup. Fajardo was declared the Best Player of the Conference last conference.
While the reigning MVP and incumbent power forward Arwind Santos will have an ample support of Fajardo, which is the new cornerstone of the team.
There combination will be vital in the inside while the backcourt will have new guard Mercado, and soon to be starting point guard in Chris Ross. San Mig might play Mercado as the starting shooting guard while hot-shooting Marcio Lassiter will start at the small forward. Guard Chris Lutz is expected to be a back-up to Mercado.
The Beermen is still awaiting for the arrival of their import - possibly former Boston Celtic forward DJ White, who is being eyed by the Beermen.
The team is now trying to work back into game shape with still about three weeks to go before the opening of the import-laden conference
San Miguel will again adopt to another change in the coaching staff but the management hopes that it will be the last that they were going to do and hopes that this time it will be fruitful.
Even the players hopes that it will be the last one.
San Miguel Beer to come back next conference with a vengeance Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 2/23/2014 Rating: