Skippers, Scorpions take first crack at semis
(The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Top seeds Marinerong Pilipino and CEU shoot a quick semifinal entry, looking to cash in on their twice-to-beat perks versus AMA and Asia’s Lashes, respectively, at the start of the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup playoffs today at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

With win-once incentives as the first and second-ranked squads in Group A, the Skippers and the Scorpions have golden chances at the Final Four versus No. 3 Soldiers and No. 4 Titans.

Marinero plays AMA in the curtain raiser at 1:30 p.m. to be followed by the 3:30 p.m. collision between CEU and Asia’s Lashes.

Bannered by ex-pros Eloy Poligrates, Mark Yee and Dan Sara, the Skippers are expected to continue their unbeaten run against the fourth-ranked Titans especially after dominating group rival Scorpions, 88-74, in a battle of unbeaten teams earlier this week.

But head coach Yong Garcia warned his wards of complacency, reminding them of their close win last month against the Aaron Black-led squad which is eyeing to drag this quarterfinal series to a sudden death.

“Our last match was close so we need to be ready this time,” said Garcia who is looking to arrange a Final Four date against the winner of TIP-Black Mamba quarters matchup.

That is the same mission for the second-seeded Scorpions, hoping for another deep playoff run coming off a runner-up finish to Cignal-Ateneo last conference.

“We know we’re a young team but we’re gonna keep on playing as hard as we can,” said coach Derrick Pumaren as his wards seek to replicate their 107-77 blowout win over the Soldiers last month.

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