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PBA D-League sudden death semis fire off

John Bryan Ulanday - Philstar.com
PBA D-League sudden death semis fire off

Games Wednesday
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)

11 a.m. – EcoOil-La Salle vs Adalem Construction-St. Clare
1 p.m. – Marinerong Pilipino vs Apex Fuel-San Sebastian

MANILA, Philippines – Apex Fuel-San Sebastian, Marinerong Pilipino, EcoOil-La Salle and Adalem Construction-St. Clare lock horns one last time in the sudden death semifinals of the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

After a back-and-forth duel, the four gritty squads figure in a win-or-go-home Game Three with the winners this time advancing to the best-of-three finals for a chance to win the D-League’s first title amid the pandemic.

Second-seeded La Salle gets the first crack at 11 a.m. versus the No. 3 Saint Clare while No. 1 San Sebastian and No. 4 Marinerong Pilipino go at it at 1 p.m.

Momentum is on Saint Clare and San Sebastian after notching huge victories in Game 2 to stave off elimination, which they are aiming to carry over in the knockout battle.

“Gusto namin laging manalo kaya kahit mahirap, gagawa at gagawa kami ng way," vowed Saints mentor Jinino Manansala after showing steely resolve anew all the way from the quarterfinals.

The five-time NAASCU champion St. Clare fended off Santo Tomas in the do-or-die quarters before bouncing back again in the semis from an 89-74 Game 1 loss against La Salle with a 72-64 Game Two win. 

On the other end, automatic semifinalist San Sebastian’s long rest backfired in a 74-66 opener loss versus the lower-ranked Marinero and needed to regroup with an 82-74 win in Game Two.

Game Three now will be an even tougher match, warned Golden Stags mentor Egay Macaraya.

"Knowing coach Yong Garcia, I know there will be a lot of adjustments. I hope we can rest and recover sa lahat ng nangyari," he said.

Despite failing to close out their respective counterparts, the Green Archers and the Skippers are determined to rebound and get the job done.

"We can't be complacent. We have to respect St. Clare because they're still a champion team,” said La Salle tactician Derrick Pumaren.

"Kailangan naming kunin. Hindi naman naipapanalo yung championship sa papel so kailangan naming patunayan yung inaasahan ng mga tao sa amin,” added Marinero coach Garcia.

BASKETBALL

PBA D-LEAGUE

PBA D-LEAGUE AS­PIRANTS’ CUP

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