The Sarangani Marlins get another acid test when they tackle the San Juan Knights on Friday in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season presented by Xtreme at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Beaten by Batangas City (66-75) in its last outing on August 23, Sarangani fell to a 10-3 slate and needs to beat San Juan in their 9 p.m. tussle to boost its drive for a quarterfinals slot in the 22-team tournament.
San Juan should be no pushover, however, as the Go for Gold-supported Knights trounced the Marikina Shoemasters, 81-67, on August 22 to improve to 8-6 and rev up their drive in the single round-robin elimination phase.
The Marlins will bank on YouTube sensation Kyt Jimenez, Yvan Ludovice, Gabby Espinas and Macky Acosta while the Knights will lean on Judel Fuentes, Michael Calisaan, Orlan Wamar and Marwin Taywan.
Other games pit Bacolod Bingo Plus (8-6) against Caloocan Victory Liner (4-9) at 5 p.m. and Pasig (8-5) against Muntinlupa (2-10) at 7 p.m.
Pasig, led by Carlo Lastimosa, Jason Melano and Robbie Manalang, is favored over Muntinlupa, which is on a 9-game slide.
Despite its scrambling 68-67 victory over Valenzuela on August 26, Bacolod holds the slight edge over Caloocan.
Homegrown Jhan McHale Nermal, veteran Mark Yee and gunner Alwyn Alday will be the key players for Bacolod Bingo Plus.