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D-L semis starts today

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Today
(Pasig City Sports Center)
12 p.m. – Zark’s Burgers vs Marinerong Pilipino
2 p.m. – Che’Lu Bar and Grill vs Akari-Adamson

Marinerong Pilipino and three other touted newcomers take center stage today as the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup semifinal round gets going today at the Pasig City Sports Center.

The Skippers, coming off a two-week break since claiming an outright Final Four seat as the No. 2 finisher in the eliminations, will come in with fresh legs but will still have their hands full in their 12 p.m. showdown with the dangerous Zark’s Burgers Jawbreakers at the start of their best-of-three semis series.

Marinerong Pilipino defeated Zark’s Burgers, 94-92, in their previous meeting nearly three months ago. But veteran coach Koy Banal admitted they’re leaving nothing to chance as they activated former pro and assistant coach Denok Miranda.

“Ayaw namin na mangyari sa amin ‘yung nangyari sa Flying V na they did not make it to the Finals,” he said, referring to the Thunder who swept the Foundation Cup eliminations but failed to advance after falling prey to Centro Escolar University in the semis.

Clashing in the other semis pairing set at 2 p.m. are Akari-Adamson and Che’Lu Bar and Grill.

The Falcons emerged as the eliminations topnotcher and are considered as the prohibitive favorites over the fourth-seeded Revellers, who made quick work of the Gamboa Mix Coffee Lovers in the quarterfinal round last week.

A lion’s share of the spotlight, however, is expected to fall on the opener, with the sixth-ranked Jawbreakers out to ride the crest of their impressive two-game conquest of the third-seeded Scorpions in the quarterfinals.