• Skippers gun for fourth win in D-League


    Marinerong Pilipino seeks to stretch its winning streak when it collides with AMA Online Education today in the Philippine Basketball Association Developmental League (PBA D-League) Aspirants’ Cup 2018 at the Pasig City Sports Center.

    The streaking Skippers square off with the Titans in the game day opener at 2 p.m.

    After a shaky start to the season, early title favorite Marinero is now eyeing to extend its two-game winning roll and improve its 3-2 win-loss record for a more solid hold of No. 4.

    The veteran-laden squad first battered Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC), 92-78, then smothered Wangs Basketball-Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 96-84, for its maiden back-to-back victories.

    Veteran head coach Koy Banal though still sees a lot of rooms of improvement for his Skippers.

    “(There is still) a lot of things to improve and work on individually and as a team. I hope that we will be able to make things okay come our next games,” he said.

    Seasoned cagers Rian Ayonayon and Billy Ray Robles are expected to take charge of the Banal’s crew anew after firing 14 and 12 points, respectively, in their latest win.

    AMA, on the other hand, is fresh off its breakthrough win that ended its three-game losing skid.

    The retooled Titans featuring new recruits in guard James Martinez and collegiate stalwart Arvin Tolentino nabbed their first win at the expense of Batangas-EAC, 96-93.

    AMA mentor Mark Herrera wants his wards to work harder on the defensive end for them to sustain their winning form.

    “We are still lacking in our defense. That’s what we are going to adjust,” said Herrera.

    Robbie Manalang is tabbed to carry the load for the Titans following the guard’s conference-high 40 points highlighted by eight triples and crucial free throws in their last game.

    Meanwhile, Jose Rizal University (1-3) looks to snap out of its slump when it takes on the listless Batangas (0-4) in the second bout at 4 p.m.

    The Heavy Bombers, who enjoyed a promising start under D-League’s youngest head coach Gio Lasquety, are raring to stop their three-game slide while the Generals are hoping to finally enter the win column.


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