Games on Friday (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
9 a.m. – Marinerong Pilipino* vs CEU
11 a.m. – Builders Warehouse-UST vs Adalem Construction-St. Clare
Adalem Construction-St. Clare and Marinerong Pilipino eye a quick entry into the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup semifinals when its battled separate foes on Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The No.3 Saints face the red-hot Builders Warehouse-UST at 11 a.m., following the 9 a.m. encounter between No. 4-seed Skippers and the hungry Centro Escolar University.
“The way UST is playing right now, they’re on a roll so kailangang mag-prepare kami nang mabuti para sa kanila,” said Adalem-St. Clare coach Jinino Manansala who will rely on NAASCU MVP Johnsherick Estrada and Joshua Fontanilla.
Interim coach Albert Alocillo, for his part, is just elated with how Sherwin Concepcion, Nic Cabanero, and Kean Baclaan have stepped up to the plate in its last three wins to make this late charge to the top six.
“Ibig sabihin kaya pala talaga namin maglaro. Siguro sa ngayon, maganda ‘yung momentum namin and magandang motivation para sa amin ito,” he said.
The Saints narrowly escaped the threat from the Growling Tigers, 87-86, last July 21.
As for Marinerong Pilipino, the meeting is a shot at redemption after suffering a shock 84-77 defeat to CEU just last Monday.
“Lesson pa rin sa amin ‘yun. Hindi man namin nakuha ‘yung top two, ang mahalaga may advantage pa rin kami at ‘di namin pwedeng sayangin ‘yun,” said coach Yong Garcia as his side ended the eliminations losing back-to-back games but will now have a complete roster on hand led by Juan Gomez de Liano, Jollo Go, and Kemark Carino.
For CEU, there’s really nothing to lose with coach Chico Manabat unearthing gems in Jerome Santos, Franz Diaz, and Lenard Santiago in this surprise run to the top six.
“Beyond our expectations ito. This is an opportunity for us to grow at sisiguraduhin naming ‘di na namin ito bibitiwan,” he said.