Jorge Gallent debuts for San Miguel Beer in his first formal act as new head coach for the Beermen as they take on Phoenix LPG Fuel Masters on Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
Gallent was tapped to replace former head coach Leo Austria who had eight years with San Miguel, the league’s winningest ball club with 28 championships.
The Beermen opens a new chapter with Gallent assuming the mantle for the team which is now healthier and looking ready to contend for another crown with the help of import Cameron Clark.
The reigning Philippine Cup champs, losing semifinalists in the recent Commissioner’s Cup, are fancied for a winning conference debut versus a Phoenix side off to a scrambling start with back-to-back losses to the TNT Tropang Giga, 123-119, and to the Blackwater Bossing, 108-105.
It will not be a completely new beginning for Gallent and the Beermen since they had their seven-game ride when Austria went under health and safety protocols last conference. The team chalked up a 6-1 win-loss record in that brief run.
Gallent had an earlier head coaching experience with B-Meg in addition to his stellar mark as a six-time champion coach with Harbour Centre in the defunct PBL.
“Coach Jorge will take over bringing with him PBA head coaching experience and an exciting future for the franchise,” said team manage Gee Abanilla.
June Mar Fajardo and Co. surely ache to give Gallent a triumphant welcome and get a good start after losing their semifinal showdown with the Bay Area Dragons last conference.
Terrence Romeo, CJ Perez, Vic Manuel, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter and the rest of the team are all eager to come out and are looking forward to working with Clark, a returning PBA import after a previous tour of duty with the NLEX Road Warriors in the 2021 Governors Cup.
Underdog is the Phoenix side which is winless in two starts under its own new bench chieftain Jamike Jarin.
Jarin and his troops didn’t do badly in their first two outings but lacked the finishing kick to come out on top.
Du’vaughn Maxwell and his teammate gave TNT and Blackwater fits before losing both matches.
Now comes a sterner test versus the Beermen. (SB)