Air 21 Express might be last in the team standings at the PBA 2013 Governor's Cup but they are not going down without a fight, especially now that their lineup had been given a major boost with two major acquisitions in Joseph Yeo and Asi Taulava courtesy of trade agreements with Meralco Bolts and Petron Blaze Boosters. The lift from these two veteran newbies in their lineup also comes timely as they are set to face Talk N Text, another team that is desperate for a win after a paltry performance so far in the conference.
Air 21 Express has lost four consecutive games to become the bottom-dwellers in the PBA's team standings. Asi Taulava returns to the PBA after his stint at the Asian Basketball League wherein he played for the San Miguel Beermen and also won the Most Valuable Player award. Meanwhile, Yeo is from the current league-leader Petron with whom he got traded with big man Isip.
Air 21 head coach Franz Pumaren, however, admits that acquiring these two players this late in the conference also has its setbacks. One of them is the limited preparation involving these players, as well as the fact that Asi had taken a break from basketball in the past three months so he might not be in the best shape right now.
In the case of Joseph Yeo, however, he welcomes this new change in his career especially as he is reunited with his college coach. Both teams are set to meet on Friday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Tubid Slapped with Fine over "Cheap Shot" on TNT's Castro
Ronald Tubid, guard for the Petron Blaze Boosters, has had a reputation for being a rugged player. But when he hit a "cheap shot" on Talk N Text's guard Jason Castro, he claimed that it was unintentional. Even then, he did not get away with a fine even though he escaped suspension from the PBA office.
Tubid was asked to appear before the PBA Commissioner's office early today following the events of Wednesday's game (wherein Petron won big against TNT, 122-88) after he hit Castro in the midsection so that he could explain his side of the story. He also noted that they were leading by as much as 40 points at that time, so he sees no use for attempting to hurt players from the opposing team.
He did not get away from the Commissioner's office without hearing a piece of Comm. Salud's mind, wherein the PBA officials are serious about punishing players that were involved in physical plays following a scuffle during last week's game between GlobalPort and San Mig Coffee that saw players throwing punches. The amount fined against Ronald Tubid wasn't disclosed, however.
Rookie Calvin Abueva Cleared to Play
Alaska Aces rookie sensation Calvin Abueva has been confirmed to play today against Petron Blaze Boosters at the PhilSports Arena despite suffering an injury during their last game. The 6' 1" Abueva returned to practice last Thursday despite the team's physical therapist fearing that he might have suffered from a bone contusion on his back causing him to drop down to the floor as his back suddenly stiffened. The team and its fans can heave a sigh of relief knowing that the injury wasn't as bad as it was initially assessed.
Aces head coach Luigi Trillo, though, is concerned about the health of Abueva coming into this game, noting "I don't know if he's 100 percent but knowing Calvin, even if he could play with one leg, he would."
Abueva admits to experiencing some pain on his back but he has affirmed that he will be willing to play through the pain. Indeed, Abueva will be a huge boost to the Aces' campaign to hand Petron their second defeat this conference as he is averaging 7.8 points and 10 rebounds a game.