By Jerome Lagunzad
(Ynares Sports Arena)
12 p.m. – CEU vs Gamboa
Coffee Mix-St. Clare
2 p.m. – Akari-Adamson vs Wang’s-Letran
Akari-Adamson and Wang’s Basketball-Letran square off today at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, with the winner earning the right to claim the second playoff ticket in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
Toting similar 6-2 records, just a full-game behind pacesetting Centro Escolar University, the Falcons and the Couriers are expected to leave no stone unturned in what promises to be an all-out encounter at 2 p.m.
The Scorpions, already assured of the first playoff berth with a 7-1 card, are still eager to sustain their winning ways as they take on the dangerous Gamboa Coffee Lovers in the 12 p.m. opener.
The Coffee Lovers should come in with ample confidence since they are coming off a stunning 107-106 overtime victory over the Zark’s Burgers Jawbreakers last Tuesday, earning another proof that they can contend with the perceived heavyweights.
However, all eyes will be on the main match. Akari-Adamson has won its last two matches, including an 89-79 decision over Batangas last week, but veteran coach Franz Pumaren admits that they still cannot put their guard down.
“All the teams are competitive this conference. We can’t be deceived by the standings because any team can compete in any given day,” he said, knowing that the Couriers are capable enough of getting the job done.
Winner of its last three matches, Wang’s Basketball seems to be peaking at the right time, with the likes of ace forward Bong Quinto and guard JP Calvo doing most of the damage alongside Rey Publico, Bonbon Batiller and Christian Fajarito.
But that won’t be enough for Couriers tactician Jeff Napa to be lulled into a false of complacency. “We’ll take care of business. Kahit sino ang makatapat namin, handa lang kami. Ang iniisip lang namin, manalo nang manalo,” he said.