Intriguing tiffs in DL semis
John Bryan Ulanday (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2019 - 12:00am

Games today (Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig) Game 1 of Best-of-3 Semis

1:30 p.m. – CEU vs BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare

3:30 p.m. – Marinerong Pilipino vs TIP

MANILA, Philippines — A rematch and a new rivalry determine which teams do the Last Dance in the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup.

Centro Escolar U and BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare clash in a grudge match in one side of the best-of-three semifinals while Marinerong Pilipino and TIP collide in their own duel at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig today.

The Skippers and the Saints have been on perfect runs, and they’re eager to get going and strike the first blow in the race-to-two-games series.

CEU and St. Clare take the floor at 1:30 p.m. then Marinero and TIP face off at 3:30 p.m.

The Scorpions and the Saints will engage in a much-anticipated rematch of their semis duel in the last D-League tourney won by the former despite an undermanned lineup.

But St. Clare looms as the favorite in the rematch with its souped-up lineup that entered the semis via a record-setting 180-117 blasting of Hyperwash in the quarterfinals.

Still, coach Stevenson Tiu stressed they’re up for an entirely different battle with CEU.

“We’re happy to be here but we weren’t tested in our past outings. Those blowout wins surely will not happen in this semis. But we’re thinking of revenge as our motivation against CEU,” said Tiu.

The Scorpions themselves look forward to the rematch although coach Derrick Pumaren admits that the roles have been reversed with the Saints being the heavy favorites this time.

“It’s not the same St. Clare we’re facing now. We’re at a disadvantaged because my players are young. But we won’t be intimidated,” said Pumaren whose wards scored a 99-48 win over Asia’s Lashes in the quarters.

It is a whole different case for the Skippers and the Engineers who were partners in last year’s Foundation Cup. The then Marinero-TIP squad made it all the way to the semis only to fall short against eventual champion Go For Gold.

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