A YOUNGER and more athletic Marinerong Pilipino squad.
That’s the kind of team that Skippers coach Yong Garcia wants in the PBA D-League Aspirant’s Cup set to kick off on Feb. 13.
But Garcia has to cool his heels first.
“As of now, wala pa kaming nabubuo na team. Sa Jan. 15 pa kami mag-i-start pero gusto ko na team ay iyong young and athletic kasi marami ngayong school-based teams sa D-League,” Garcia told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.
“We will wait for the D-League draft sa Jan. 20 and see kung sinong players ang makukuha namin,” he added.
The season-opening tourney features 12 teams bannered by the Skippers, school-based teams Centro Escolar University, Ironcon-University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, Eco Oil-La Salle, Mapua University, Diliman College, La Salle-Dasmarinas, and AMA Online Education.
Completing the field are club teams Paranaque City and Debantan Sports.
Marinerong Pilipino reached the finals of the Foundation Cup last season but lost to BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare in three grueling games.
Garcia said the Skippers already have six players in their line-up, namely, former pros Mark Yee and Eliud Poligrates, Jordan Rios, Rev Diputado, JBoy Solis, and Jay-R Taganas.
Bidding to win its maiden title since joining the D-League play in 2017, Garcia said the Skippers’ title chances depend on the team that he will form.
“Hindi ko pa masasabi (chances in the tourney) kasi depende pa rin sa mabubuo naming team,” related Garcia.
“Maraming school-based teams and alam naman natin na buo na iyong mga iyon.”
According to Tournament Supervisor Mauro Bengua, prospective participants have until Jan. 15 to pay the entry fee.
The league will hold its annual draft on Jan. 20 at the league office in Libis, Quezon City. – Michael Jugado