Scorpions, Engineers eye semis

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    GROUP B topnotcher BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare and No. 2 seed Technological Institute of the Philippines, armed with twice-to-beat advantages, try to clinch semis slots when they tackle separate foes today in the quarterfinals of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Paco Arena in Manila.

    The Saints, who wound up with a 6-0 card in the eliminations, battle No. 4 Hyperwash in the curtain-raiser at 1:30 p.m., with the winner forging a best-of-3 semis duel with Centro Escolar University.

    The Engineers are determined to advance to the semis of the season-ending tourney opposite Marinerong Pilipino when they tangle with third-ranked Black Mamba at 3:30.

    BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare coach Stevenson Tiu said that after his squad’s runaway wins in the elims, the playoffs will be different.

    “Pagdating sa quarters and semifinals, siyempre it will be a different story,” said Tiu.”Lahat ng tambak namin, hindi naman make-carry over, so we have to start from scratch again.”

    The Saints mauled the Vipers 129-72 in their elims battle last Aug. 1 and are coming off a 138-101 shellacking of Italiano’s Homme last Sept. 9.

    Foremost among those expected to lead the way for the Saints are 6-foot-6 Malian import Mohamed Pare, Joshua Fontanilla, Junjie Hallare, and new additions Alfred Batino and Hessed Gabo.
    Hyperwash beat Italiano’s Homme 70-64 last Sept. 5.

    Former pros JR Cawaling, Khasim Mirza, and Jeric Fortuna will be counted upon by Hyperwash, which finished with a 3-3 record in the elims.

    TIP will play its first match after a nearly one-month layoff but coach Potit De Vera is not worried.

    “We’ve played some tune-ups during the break so I don’t think it will be an issue,” said De Vera.

    The Engineers downed the Energy Drink 110-99 in their initial clash last Aug. 15 and last played last Aug. 19 when it clobbered Alberei 105-95.

    TIP will pin its hopes on Senegalese center Papa Ndiaye, Bryan Santos and Ivan Santos.

    Black Mamba, which finished with a 3-3 slate in the elims, absorbed a 90-94 loss to McDavid-De La Salle Araneta last Sept. 9.

    John Tayongtong, Jett Vidal, and Bobby Balucanag will be counted upon by the Energy Drink.