PBA releases official roster ahead of new season

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PBA opens its much delayed 46th season this Friday. INQUIRER FILE

MANILA, Philippines — The PBA has released the official roster for all 12 teams ahead of its season opener on Friday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Among the notables is Kiefer Ravena, who remains on NLEX’s lineup amid his controversial signing with the Shiga Lakestars in the Japan B.League.

Just two weeks ago, the Lakestars released their roster for the upcoming B.League season in October with Ravena part of their 12-man lineup.

Barangay Ginebra also has an intriguing squad heading into the Philippine Cup.

The Gin Kings are installed as favorites this season with the addition of versatile big man Christian Standhardinger, whom they acquired in a trade with the NorthPort Batang Pier for Greg Slaughter last March.

Ginebra won last year’s Philippine Cup in a bubble environment in Clark, Pampanga after beating TNT in five games.

The Gin Kings, though, are expected to miss several players in Aljon Mariano, Art dela Cruz and Mark Caguioa to begin the season. Ginebra did not include Mariano and dela Cruz in the roster while Caguioa is on the injured/reserve list.

“They are currently recovering from injuries. When they are healthy, they will return to the lineup,” Cone tweeted, referring to Mariano and dela Cruz.

“Mark is still in the US attending to family matters. We expect him to return soon. He has management’s full permission to be away,” Cone said in a separate tweet.

Another legitimate contender for the championship is San Miguel Beer, which will welcome back its six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and star guard Terrence Romeo from injuries.

The Beermen suffered a quarterfinals exit in the bubble after winning the last five all-Filipino Cups.

New acquisition CJ Perez, one of the league’s best guards, is also making his keenly-awaited debut for SMB.

Also playing his first game this season is Columbian’s top overall pick Joshua Munzon.

Alaska and Blackwater will raise the curtain on Friday followed by a clash between NLEX and Rain or Shine. Meralco and NorthPort play in the nightcap.

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