Battle royale in D-Leagiue

June 12, 2023 Theodore P. Jurado 331 views

DEFENDING champion EcoOil-La Salle and Wang’s Basketball @27 Strikers-Letran seek to finish off their respective semifinal foes to arrange an interesting title duel in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup today at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

Riding on the crest of their big wins in last Thursday’s opener, the Green Archers shoot for the bulls-eye against University of Perpetual Help System Dalta at 2 p.m., while the Knights hope to get the job done against Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda at 4 p.m.

EcoOil-DLSU is gunning for its second consecutive championship appearance, while Wang’s-Letran is eyeing for a breakthrough Finals stint.

The second-seeded Green Archers overwhelmed No. 3 Altas, 107-78, while No. 4 Knights erased a 24-point deficit to stun elimination round topnotcher Red Lions in overtime, 93-87.

Both squads are determined not to send their respective best-of-three series to rubber match, as Perpetual and Marinero-San Beda are still capable to extend their respective seasons.

“Hopefully, makuha na namin yung Game 2. We’re ready. We’ll take it a quarter-by-quarter approach. We’ll just play our game and stick to our game plan,” said Wang’s-Letran coach Rensy Bajar.

The Knights turned to Kurt Reyson’s 32-point explosion in ending the Red Lions’ five-game winning streak.

Despite the easy Game 1 victory, EcoOil-DLSU will not take its foes for granted.

“It’s a best of three series so ang challenge sa amin is to be better in Game 2. Kung ‘di namin matatapatan ‘yung level na nilaro namin sa Game 1 then wala kami sa tamang direksyon. We’ll keep challenging the team and hopefully, they’ll step up,” said Green Archers assistant coach Gian Nazario.

With the pressure of the winning streak done, Marinero-San Beda has learned the lessons of its Game 1 defeat.

“It’s a good test for our team’s character on how we will react after a tough loss. The team is high spirits in practices,” said coach Yuri Escueta, whose Red Lions faltered in the extra period after squandering a 24-point lead.

Despite the tremendous odds, the Altas are looking forward for a better effort to foil their rivals’ march to the Finals.

“DLSU is a tough team. Hoping our adjustments in Game 1 will work for us to extend the series,” said Perpetual coach Myk Saguiguit.