NC champ, NAASCU titlist banner D-League cast

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — An intact Wangs [email protected] has been been tagged as the early title favorite in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup that returns tomorrow at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

With spotlight on the Knights being the reigning back-to-back NCAA champions, the seven other teams still promise to prove their worth in the developmental league that last held a tourney in February 2020.

Adalem Construction-St. Clare, which ruled the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup, stands as the rightful contender to Letran after winning its fifth straight title in the NAASCU.

“Syempre, in fairness sa ibang teams, lalaban din ang mga ‘yan. Hindi naman kami sumali dito para tumakbo-takbo lang,” said coach Jinino Manansala of St. Clare in yesterday’s PSA Forum graced by PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro.

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 U, all hoping to give the contenders a run for their money.

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

“Maganda ang competition sa D-League and maraming matututunan ang players ko so who knows, baka matalo namin yung iba,” said Stags coach Egay Macaraya.

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



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