Arwind Santos to lead Batang Pier against Aces in Govs' Cup opener

Published December 3, 2021, 11:56 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Arwind Santos (PBA Images)

Arwind Santos’ debut with the NorthPort Batang Pier will usher in the start of the season-ending PBA Governors’ Cup on Dec. 8 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Santos and the Batang Pier face the Alaska Aces in the first game of a doubleheader at 3 p.m. based on the initial schedule the league released Friday, Dec. 3.

NorthPort is set to parade Santos, whose 12-year stint with San Miguel Beer came to an end a few weeks ago when he was traded in exchange for Vic Manuel.

Interestingly, Santos won’t wait a lot longer to face his former team as NorthPort and SMB are slated to face off on Dec. 12.

SMB plays NLEX at 6 p.m. following the NorthPort-Alaska duel to conclude the opening day which will be played without fans as the league continues to work on arrangements before the games are opened to the public.

Terrafirma parades new addition Alex Cabagnot, who was acquired for Enciso, on Dec. 9 against Phoenix Super LPG at 3 p.m. before Blackwater, seeking to redeem itself from a winless stint in the Philippine Cup with a new-look roster, meets Rain or Shine at 6 p.m.

NorthPort returns to action on Dec. 10 opposite NLEX at 3 p.m. while San Miguel and Alaska meet at 6 p.m.

Games on Dec. 11 pit Phoenix against Blackwater at 4 p.m. and Rain or Shine versus Terrafirma at 6:45 p.m.

The NorthPort-SMB match on Dec. 12 will start at 4 p.m. before Barangay Ginebra San Miguel opens its title defense with returning import Justin Brownlee against Alaska at 6:45 p.m.

Philippine Cup champion TNT, losing finalist Magnolia Pambansang Manok and Meralco will not see action in the league’s opening week.

Each team plays 11 games with the top eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals as in previous conferences.

The top four teams will have a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarters, the two semifinal series are a best-of-five while the finals is a best-of-seven affair.

Brownlee is one of six returning imports who are expected to see action in the conference’s first week.

Olu Ashaolu suits up for Alaska after playing for NLEX in 2018 and 2019 while the Road Warriors have ex-TNT reinforcement KJ McDaniels.

Paul Harris, another former TNT import, plays for Phoenix, SMB has Brandon Brown, who once played for the Fuel Masters in 2017 while Henry Walker will play for his fourth PBA team in Rain or Shine.

Three new imports are scheduled to play their first PBA games in NorthPort’s Cameron Forte, Terrafirma’s Antonio Hester and Blackwater’s Jaylen Bond.

 
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