After another week-long break, the San Miguel Beermen are back in action as they face Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. A win here would propel them to solo second in the standings as well as avoiding a 3-way tie for the third spot. In a conference where quotients matter, they want to avoid as many ties as possible. It won’t be easy however as they face the best offensive and second-best defensive team in the league.

Of course, everyone’s attention will be on the two giants: reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo and last year’s Rookie of the Year Greg Slaughter. The last time these two met, it wasn’t pretty as Slaughter went to town with his midrange jumper. The Beermen will look for a different outcome this time around. For Fajardo, he’s been in a bit of a shooting slump in the past 2 games. Going up against what many consider his biggest rival should hopefully wake him up a bit, resulting in a big scoring night. It should be a good battle on the boards as these two teams are the best at cleaning up the glass on both sides, able to keep their opponents from getting easy second chance opportunities.

More than the frontline battle, San Miguel will have to keep a familiar face in check. Joseph Yeo has been on fire in Ginebra’s last two contests, hitting 10 of his 16 3-point attempts. San Miguel’s guards have suffocate him on defense and not allow him any space to operate. Expect a little bad blood as well. I don’t think Chris Ross and co. have forgotten about his low blow and subsequent “larong mayaman” comment last season. Sparks may fly from the get-go.

They also have a new player in their midst as out goes Paolo Hubalde and in comes former Growling Tiger Jeric Fortuna. He was presumably brought in to stabilize what’s been an inconsistent PG situation. He played one year under Coach Leo Austria in the ABL with the San Miguel Beermen. He’s young, pretty athletic, and is known as a good shooter. He might not even get much playing time but we’ll see what he can bring to the table.

They also hype this contest up as the battle of the giants but I think it’s everyone else that decides who wins or loses. I would love to predict that the Beermen will win 100% but I know it’s not a foregone conclusion. They have what it takes but, like in all their past games, it will be a tight and physical battle.

TIME: 5:15 PM

Featured Image Credit: Czeasar Dancel, Yahoo Sports PH