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Rehashed Mahindra debuts against GlobalPort; Alaska begins road to redemption against NLEX

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By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--A heavily overhauled Mahindra squad will show up on Friday as the team will begin its PBA Philippine Cup campaign against GlobalPort at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Now known as the Floodbusters, the Manny Pacquiao and Chris Gavina-mentored side now features a good balance of veterans and young guns following a very busy PBA Draft and three trades during the off-season that totally shook up its roster.

Mahindra's first test of the season will happen in its 4:15 p.m. clash with GlobalPort, which maintained the core of its lineup last season while adding rookie Von Pessumal and veterans Rey Guevarra and JR QuiƱahan to the fray.

In the nightcap at 7 p.m., Alaska opens its own Philippine Cup bid against NLEX as the team hopes to bounce back from an infamous finals meltdown the last time out.

The Aces were four minutes away from sweeping their Philippine Cup championship series with the San Miguel Beermen but ended up on the wrong side of the latter's historic comeback from 0-3 down. They also suffered a finals defeat to the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters, then coached by Yeng Guiao, in the Commissioner's Cup.

Guiao now has a new home with the Road Warriors, who will now try to go deep into the playoffs.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno