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Beermen tap Bennie Boatwright as replacement for Ivan Aska

With a fractured finger keeping June Mar Fajardo out of commission, San Miguel has made a strategic change by bringing in a new import to replace Ivan Aska in the ongoing PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup.

According to SMB team manager Gee Abanilla, Bennie Boatwright has already arrived in town and is expected to boost their frontline rotation in the upcoming games.

“He is already in town,” said Abanilla in reference to the 27-year old American who played with former Magnolia Hotshots import Nick Rakocevic at the University of Southern California in Division I of the US NCAA.

Abanilla, during an interview with Rey Joble of the Daily Tribune, mentioned that they are still finalizing some minor details regarding Boatwright’s hiring, which means that Aska might see action one more time. The league’s winningest franchise is scheduled to take on reigning champion Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Both teams, the Beermen and the Gin Kings, are coming off demoralizing losses. However, the pain that San Miguel is experiencing is even more intense after suffering a 101-115 defeat to import-less NorthPort last Friday, leading head coach Jorge Gallent to take immediate action.

In addition to the seven-time Most Valuable Player Fajardo, the Beermen are currently without the services of Vic Manuel, which leaves Mo Tautuaa as the sole reliable post threat on the team.

Manuel recently underwent surgery for his knee, while other Beermen are also unable to see action due to injuries. Terrence Romeo has been dealing with a bruised shin, Jeron Teng has a hamstring issue, while Kyt Jimenez has a fractured bone near his eye socket.

Despite these setbacks, Abanilla expressed optimism that Romeo might be able to play on Friday.

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