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D-League resumes tourney next week

It will be an explosive opening week for the PBA D-League Foundation Cup as the primary developmental tournament of the country resumes action on March 24 at the Arena in San Juan.

The tournament opens with a triple header with Aspirant’s Cup quarterfinalists Jumbo Plastic and Cagayan Valley taking on respective foes.

The Linoleum Giants will make its foundation cup debut this year against University of the East backed-school, Cebuana Lhuillier Gems at 2 p.m. while the new look Rising Suns will take on the Boracay Rum Waves at 12 p.m.

Cafe France and Derulo Acellero open up the triple header at 10 a.m.

However, the biggest ties of the opening week will be in the second game, at Tuesday, March 25, 2014 when reigning Aspirant’s Cup champion NLEX takes on defending Foundation Cup champion Blackwater Sports in a rematch of the last year’s finals when the Elite swept the Road Warriors in a stunning two game upset.

The two teams, co-incidentally, are also both vying to be promoted in the Philippine Basketball Association by next year as they have both submitted their letter of intent to the PBA board.

With that, expect an action packed game particularly with Blackwater beefing up its lineup to further prepare its squad should they be allowed to move up the ranks and play in the PBA.

While NLEX still basically has the same powerhouse squad, last conference’s semifinalists in Blackwater added more firepower in its roster by adding Big Chill forward Reil Cervantes to bolster its frontline composed of Gilbert Bulawan and Pari Llagas.

In the perimeter, they also acquired the backcourt duo of Cagayan Valley in Don Trollano and Nard Pinto to compliment the high scoring trio of Jericho Cruz, Kevin Ferrer and Allan Mangahas.

With both teams having heavy artillery and fully locked and loaded, expect an action packed game by Tuesday.

To complete the opening week action, last conference’s finalists Big Chill, which begins life after Cervantes, takes on last conferences surprise final four entrants in Hog’s Breath in 12 p.m.

This conference is now down to just 10 teams after reaching a record of 14 teams in the Aspirant’s Cup.