2 p.m. — University of Perpetual Help System Dalta vs PSP Gymers
4 p.m. — Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda vs EcoOil-La Salle
TITLE holder EcoOil-La Salle, missing key players on national team duty, shoots for a second straight win against revenge-seeking Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup today at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Tip-off is at 4 p.m. for the main match between two collegiate heavyweights after the opening act of PSP Gymers and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta at 2 p.m.
La Salle marches into duel without Mike and Ben Phillips, who are fulfilling national duties with Gilas Pilipinas in a closed-door camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games this week.
But even without the Phillips brothers, the Green Archers have more than enough manpower to stand their ground against the Red Lions with other core players Evan Nelle, Kevin Quiambao and Mark Nonoy at the helm.
“We will be shorthanded but we will come prepared. We know San Beda’s potential and we have a lot of respect for coach Yuri Escueta and his staff. We’ll be prepared for them,” said deputy Gian Nazario.
Mr. Nazario for now is steering the Green Archers in place of head coach Topex Robinson, who’s in the US to scout prospects. Last week, Mr. Nazario towed La Salle to an 84-62 win over Centro Escolar University to kick off their back-to-back title bid on a high note.
On the other hand, the Red Lions eye no less than a sweet rebound coming off a 94-92 collapse against the neophyte PSP after leading by double digits in the payoff period.
Yukien Andrada, Jacob Cortez and Clifford Jopia are out to lead San Beda’s upset bid to dodge an early 0-2 hole in the seven-team D-League cast. — John Bryan Ulanday