Thunder, Hawkeyes eye finals showdown

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Newcomer Flying V and perennial favorite Cignal HD try to arrange a dream championship showdown as they go for the clinchers in their best-of-three semifinals series in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League Foundation Cup today at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

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The Thunder try to extend their amazing unbeaten streak to 12 games as they seek to sweep Centro Escolar University (CEU) in Game 2 of their semifinal series at 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes also gun for their semis sweep against Marinerong Pilipino at 3 p.m.

Coming off a tough 65-61 win over the Scorpions in Game 1 last Thursday, Flying V brace for another tough encounter against a struggling CEU and force a winner-take-all Game 3.

“I know it will be more challenging. I think that it’s why it’s called playoffs. The CEU has increased their playing level,” said Thunder head coach Eric Altramirano.

“We need to a better job controlling the rebounds and blocking out their bigs. We’re just up by one game but its not yet finish. We should strive for more,” he added.

Flying V will continue to rely on Jeron Teng, Eric Salamat and Gab Banal to bring a solid defensive game plan on Scorpions Congolese big man Rod Ebondo, who had 20 points and 27 rebounds in Game 1.

In the first game, Cignal HD coach Boyet Fernandez also expects a strong encounter from the Skippers of mentor Koy Banal.

“As we all know it will be tough again facing Marinerong Pilipino because I am pretty sure that coach Koy [Banal] really prepared hard for us. We will look what our advantages are and really try to be methodical again to prepare against Marinerong Pilipino on Tuesday,” said Fernandez.

The Hawkeyes coasted to an 86-67 drubbing of Marinerong Pilipino to snap the latter’s winning streak that put them in the semis.

Reymar Jose will lead the charge of the Hawkeyes along with Pamboy Raymundo and Jayson Perkins.

Meanwhile, Skippers coach Koy Banal is not losing hope and just wants his players to trust each other in order to tie the series.

“We’ve seen their capabilities and we did not play with our maximum potential. That’s what we’re expecting from them to bring in on Tuesday,” said Banal.

The Marinerong Pilipino will rely on Mark Isip, Robbie Herndon and John Lopez as they try to bring the series to Game Three.

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