Racal, Cignal clash for D-League crown

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Rey Nambatac of Racal (right) prepares to drive on Harold Arboleda of Cignal during Game 1 of the best-of-three finals of the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
PBA MEDIA BUREAU PHOTO

Racal Ceramica and Cignal-San Beda collide for one last time in the do-or-die Game 3 of the best-of-three finals of the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association D-League Aspirants’ Cup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Game time is set 4 p.m. with the Tile Masters trying to ride on the momentum after winning Game 2, 100-90, to force the rubber match.

Racal head coach Jerry Codiñera expects both teams to go all out as both franchises are shooting for their first D-League title.

And the Arellano University mentor said his Tile Masters will stick to what they’ve been doing the whole conference.


“It’s the same, we’d like to keep things simple. We’re happy that we have equalized but we will continue to adjust and give our best,” said Codiñera, who will bank on Rey Nambatac, Jackson Corpuz and Kent Salado.

“Our key is to have a good start. But not just that, rather communicate well to win the championship,” said Nambatac.

Hawkeyes mentor Boyet Fernandez said Game 3 boils down to who wants it more.

“Do-or-die affairs are all about the players. We just have to prepare our players and let them play. It is no longer about the X and O’s. Who really wants the championship will win,” said the six-time D-League champion coach.

Cignal was on the cusp of winning the title on its maiden tournament after winning Game 1, 93-85, but Racal bounced back strong in Game 2 to even the series.

The Hawkeyes will rely on Conference Most Valuable Player Robert Bolick, Jason Perkins, Pamboy Raymundo and Davon Potts.

“They’re laughing at us so we will take revenge in Game 3. We’ll come back stronger,” said Bolick.

JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID

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