San Juan looks forward to new rivalry with Manila in MPBL

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SAN Juan team owner and former Senator Jinggoy Estrada wants to change the perception of the public when it comes to its MPBL squad and Manila, the nation’s capital, whose city is being governed by his father, ex-President and now incumbent Mayor Joseph Estrada.  

“Kaya nga ang sabi ko sa team, OK lang na matalo tayo, huwag lang sa Manila. Maghahanda talaga tayo sa kanila,” said the younger Estrada.

The match up between San Juan and Manila provides an interesting backdrop in the coming MPBL season.

Philip Cezar, who led the San Juan Knights to an MBA championship in 2000, will be coaching the Manila Stars in the MPBL. The PBA legend is attached to Manila, having been named the head of its Sports Council by Mayor Estrada.

San Juan will be handled by Randy Alcantara, a former player of Cezar with the champion team 18 years ago.

“Medyo strange nga kasi yung mga ibang tao parang nagtataka pa hinahanap pa rin si Philip Cezar, bakit hindi daw siya yung nagko-coach,” added the younger Estrada.

This would be an interesting match up between the two expansion teams, which both put up solid units composed of ex-pros and amateur standouts.

San Juan, which handed Gerald Anderson and the Marikina Shoemasters a sound beating on Wednesday, will be headed by former PBA scoring champion Mac Cardona, journeyman John Wilson, ex-Phoenix frontliner Jam Cortes, and former Star Hotshot Samboy de Leon.

Also in the squad are Jamil Gabawan, who previously saw action for the Navotas Clutch, guard CJ Isit and Mike Ayonayon among others.

Manila, on the other hand, will be led by former PBA stars Roger Yap and Joseph Yeo, ex-Blackwater and Kia player Riel Cervantes, journeyman guard Marcy Arellano and fan favorite Jerwin Gaco, who played for the old Purefoods’ franchise multiple champion squads.

The Stars also have amateur standouts like Chris Bitoon, John Lopez and former Barako Bull draftee Ken Acibar.

Image by Ralph Salcedo/Roman Ang’s Facebook