The 2004 United Filipino Organization-San Miguel Cup resumes this evening with one team making its debut in the curtain raiser at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
MAFILWA-McDonalds, the last team to see action in the young season, will tangle with Cavite-Pacific Islands Club in the 6pm first game.
The fastfood kings are built around a core of veterans players led by playmaker Ferdie Tobias, power forward Larry Lizo and power forward Jaime Salazar. MAFILWA also has a sprinkling of youth, which makes it interesting how the team jells through the course of the season.
Cavite, meanwhile, lives and dies with the performance of Julian Ranas and Raymond Tolentino, who combined for 37 of the team’s 51 points in the loss against SMF-Seabridge.
The second game then features three-time champion SIP-Verizon taking on Bicol-Sabungero beginning at 8pm.
Both coming off setbacks, SIP and Bicol are itching to get back on the winning track. SIP continues to rely on the veteran leadership of former MVP Rick Alegre but has gotten big numbers from rookie Jason Amado their last two games.
Bicol, for its part, will rely on the inside-outside combo of Rowell Aranda and Rolando Vitug. But the Sabungeros must get additional support from the rest of the team if ever it stands a chance of upsetting a deep and spirited SIP five.
The UFO-San Miguel Cup resumes on Saturday with another doubleheader with Cabalen-RP Construction taking on MDX Amateur Radio Club in the opener at 6pm and SMF dueling MAFILWA in the 8pm match.
Cabalen is still ecstatic after topping SIP last time out and will again lean on the heroics of Paul Magcalas, Randy Arnedo, and Ronald Delos Reyes. The team, however, has yet to get big contributions from highly touted forward Darwin Barbo.
MDX is expected to counter with the backcourt of Mike Umali and Martin Moreno. But the problem of coach Benjie Abadilla lies on his frontcourt with only Richard Pambid and Bong Malasarte patrolling the paint.
Human-pogo stick Leo Itaas will banner SMF in its game against MAFILWA. The team is also expected to get big numbers from Jimmy Sison and early season surprise Sonny Lerio.
The league’s weekend slate concludes on Sunday with a tripleheader. Bayani faces off against Laguna-GEC Pawnshop in the 2pm first game, Visminda will take on Cavite in the 4pm second game, while SIP and MDX will go at it in the 6pm third game.