Centro Escolar University (CEU) faces a make-or-break game as it battles the also-ran Racal Motors in the opener of the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League Foundation Cup today at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Scorpions are in a must-win game in their 3 p.m. encounter against the Alibaba as it will guarantee them a spot in the next round and possibly a twice-to-beat edge depending on the result of Flying V-Batangas duel at 5 p.m.
A loss by CEU (5-4) will give Wangs Basketball (5-5) a free ride to the quarterfinals.
The Scorpions of head coach Yong Garcia are coming off an 89-96 loss to Cignal HD last Tuesday. Garcia told his players to move on from that defeat and focus on the task at hand.
“I told my players to keep their focus on the game. I also told them to relax though they are all aware of our crucial position,” said Garcia, who will bank on Congolese big man Rod Ebondo, Aaron Jeruta and John Karlo Casiño.
Meanwhile, Batangas (6-3) hopes to inflict the Thunder (9-0) its first loss. The latter are gunning for a sweep of the elimination round.
Batangas is already assured of a quarterfinals berth while the newcomer Flying V has already secured the outright semis slot.
“We will do our best and we will fight until the end. Hopefully, miracles will happen on our game,” said Batangas coach Eric Gonzales, who will rely on Carlos Isit and new recruit Rob Celiz, a former Zark’s Burger stalwart.
Flying V coach Eric Altamirano said that they would use the final match to refine their game heading to the next phase.
“We still have a lot of things to work on. The players must not be complacent at any given time. We must give our best every time,” said Altamirano, who will rely on Jeron Teng, Thomas Torres and Oda Tampus.
(Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig)
3 p.m. – CEU vs Racal Motors
5 p.m. – Flying V vs Batangas