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Sports

Knights favored as PBA D-League returns

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
Knights favored as PBA D-League returns
With the spotlight on the Knights as the reigning back-to-back NCAA champions, the seven other competitors are raring to go to prove their worth in the developmental league that last held a tourney in February 2020.
STAR / Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines – Wangs [email protected] and other intact squads may have been tagged as the strongest title contenders but their counterparts vow a heavy resistance when the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup finally makes its return Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

With the spotlight on the Knights as the reigning back-to-back NCAA champions, the seven other competitors are raring to go to prove their worth in the developmental league that last held a tourney in February 2020.

“Syempre, infairness sa ibang teams, lalaban din ang mga yan. Hindi naman kami sumali dito para tumakbo-takbo lang,” said coach Jinino Manansala of Adalem Construction-St. Clare in the virtual Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum featuring PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro Tuesday.

St. Clare, which ruled the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup, is actually among the rightful contenders and Letran challengers after winning its fifth straight title in the NAASCU.

UAAP semifinalist EcoOil-La Salle and veteran club Marinerong Pilipino are also in the fray with Apex Fuel-San Sebastian College, AMA Online, Builders Warehouse-UST and Centro Escolar University promising to give the contenders a run for their money.

Aside from contending for the D-League crown, teams are also in for the task as part of their early build-up for the return of full-swing collegiate action later this year.

“Maganda ang competition sa D-Legue and maraming matututunan ang players ko so who knows, baka matalo namin yung iba,” added Stags coach Egay Macaraya in the weekly forum presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), MILO® Philippines, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Olympic Committee, Amelie Hotel Manila, Unilever Philippines, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

The D-League Aspirants’ Cup will open Thursday with a double-header featuring Wangs [email protected] against Adalem Construction-St. Clare right at 10:30 a.m. followed by CEU's battle against AMA at 12:30 p.m.

BASKETBALL

KNIGHTS

LETRAN

PBA D-LEAGUE

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