University of Perpetual Help System Dalta and Wangs Basketball @27 Strikers-Letran eye quick entries into the semifinals of the 2023 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Tuesday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
On the strength of a superior quotient, the Altas and the Knights finished the eliminations as third and fourth seeds and enjoy the luxury of a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals over the PSP Gymers and the CEU Scorpions respectively.
Altas coach Myk Saguiguit, however, wants his troops to treat the the 2 p.m. duel as a do-or-die game.
“I don’t want the guys to be complacent because of that twice-to-beat advantage. I’m telling my players na hindi namin pwedeng bigyan ng chance ‘yung PSP na puro veterans. We need to get the win on Tuesday,” cautioned Saguiguit.
Perpetual defeated PSP, 93-82, in the elims.
As for the Knights, they look at the match as an opportunity to get even against the Scorpions, who dealt them a 92-85 overtime loss in the elims.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to bounce back. We’re ready for the Scorpions. They’re a strong team so we need to outhustle and match their energy for 40 minutes. Walang sukuan dahil playoffs na’to,” said Letran coach Rensy Bajar.
CEU coach Jeff Perlas admits their backs are against the wall but remained unperturbed.
“We have to embrace the challenge in front of us. It’s not going to be easy but we will be there competing and give our best against Letran,” he said.
“It’s a matter of believing that we can do something special in the quarterfinals, not to think that it’s a twice-to-beat but instead take it one game at a time. I trust my players that they will step up to the challenge, inspire each other and play together.”
Games Tuesday (Paco Arena, Manila)
2 p.m. – University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta vs PSP Gymers
4 p.m. – Wangs Basketball @27 Strikers-Letran vs CEU