PBA teams open campaign in Terrific 12 PBA teams open campaign in Terrific 12
San Miguel, TNT, and Blackwater will battle it out with 9 other teams from the Chinese Basketball Association, Korean Basketball League, and B.League Published... PBA teams open campaign in Terrific 12

PBA teams open campaign in Terrific 12

San Miguel, TNT, and Blackwater will battle it out with 9 other teams from the Chinese Basketball Association, Korean Basketball League, and B.League

Published 7:10 PM, September 16, 2019

Updated 7:10 PM, September 16, 2019

BACK AT IT. June Mar Fajardo returns to action for San Miguel after playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup. Photo from PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – PBA teams San Miguel, Blackwater, and TNT carry flag and country as they mix it up with some of the best clubs around Asia in the Terrific 12 tournament that kicks off in Macau on Tuesday, September 17.

The Beermen, Elite, and Katropa departed for Macau on Monday, September 16, for the weeklong meet that features 9 other squads from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), Korean Basketball League (KBL), and the B.League of Japan.

Each team is allowed to field in two imports for the yearly event organized by Asia League Limited.

The Beermen – reinforced by Desmine Wells and Lester Prosper and five-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo – see action at 7 pm on opening day as they battle the Zhenshen Aviators featuring 7-foot-2 former Chinese national team member Li Muhao and imports Pierre Deshawn and former NBA player Shabazz Muhammad.

Fajardo is fresh from a stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the last FIBA World Cup in China along with the Katropa duo of Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy.

San Miguel is bracketed in Group B together with Zhenshen and defending champion Ryukyu Golden Kings.

Blackwater opens hostilities at 3 pm when it goes up against two-time KBL champion Seoul SK Knights.

The Elite will have Marqus Blakely and Alex Stepheson for imports, while the Knights will be parading Aaron Haynes and Jameel Warney, who briefly played for the Dallas Mavericks.

Joining the Elite and the Knights in Group A are the Chiba Jets.

Bannered by former NBA player KJ McDaniels and one-time Mighty Sports reinforcement McKenzie Moore, the Katropa will have their hands full against title contender Liaoning Flying Leopards.

The Leopards, former CBA champions, are led by Chinese national team members Guo Ailun and Zhao Jewel and will be powered by two former NBA players in Lance Stepheson and Salah Mejri.

Guo and Zhao were part of the Chinese team that saw action in the FIBA World Cup, while Mejri was a key player of the Tunisia national team which blasted Gilas Pilipinas in the classification phase, 86-67.

TNT, Liaoning, and Nigata Albirex Basketball are bunched together in Group D.

Group C, meanwhile, is composed of the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, Utsunomiya Brex, and Jeonju KCC Egis.

The top team in each group will advance to the semifinals, with the two teams to emerge winner in the Final Four disputing the championship and the $150,000 prize money. – Rappler.com

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