Crucial matches unfold in D-League today


Four teams jockeying for quarterfinals seats take center stage in a crucial double-header in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League Foundation Cup today at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Wangs Basketball battles Marinerong Pilipino in the opener at 3 p.m. followed by the duel between Racal Motors and Batangas at 5 p.m.

The Skippers get back in the race after scoring back-to-back wins that include a 119-74 rout of Zark’s Burger last Tuesday.

“We are taking this one game at a time. We don’t want to be overwhelmed with our previous wins,” said Marinero head coach Koy Banal, whose team is holding a 3-4 win-loss slate.

“We still see the light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to keep practicing hard,” added Banal, who will bank on the services of Paolo Javelona, Ralph Salcedo, Mark Isip and Rey Publico.

The Couriers are looking for an important win that will give the franchise its first-ever playoffs stint since joining the league in 2013.

The Pablo Lucas-mentored team is coming off a defeat against Tanduay, 81-93, on Tuesday that snapped their two-game roll for a 5-4 slate.

“We always strive to do our best and we don’t want nothing but a shot at the quarterfinals,” said Lucas, who will rely on Michael Juico, Robert Herndon and Tim Habelito in the game.

In the main tiff, last conference finalist Racal shoots for a crucial win to stay in the quarterfinals race against the dangerous Batangas squad.

The team of head coach Jerry Codiñera is holding a 3-4 mark and has lost its last four assignments.

“We are on a very hard situation right now. But we are taking this very careful. As for the whole team, we still believe that we can make it in the quarterfinals,” said Codiñera.

The Alibaba will have the services of Rian Ayonayon, Gwynne Capacio, and Mac Tallo.

Batangas coach Eric Gonzales, on the other hand, is upbeat after his team won against Tanduay, 111-86, last week.

With a 4-3 card, a victory will put them closer to the quarterfinals stage.

“The goal is still to make it to the Top Six. We really had a good start that’s why I am hoping that we continue with our good performance,” said Gonzales, who will lean on Joseph Sedurifa, Cedrick Ablaza, and Jessie Saitanan.


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