Skippers, Scorpions go for semis berths

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    MARINERONG Pilipino and Centro Escolar University, both armed with twice-to-beat advantages, try to clinch semifinals slots when they tackle separate foes today as the quarterfinals of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup get going at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

    The Skippers clash with AMA Online Education in the curtain-raiser at 1:30 o’clock before the Scorpions square off with Asia’s Lashes Tomas Morato at 3:30 p.m.

    Marinerong Pilipino topped Group A with a 6-0 card and will go into the match on a high, having scored an 88-74 victory over CEU last Sept. 9.

    The Skippers beat the Titans 81-72 in their duel last Aug. 8.

    Marinerong Pilipino coach Yong Garcia expects AMA Online Education to give his charges fits anew.

    “Iyong AMA game namin, dikit iyon. Kailangan namin silang paghandaan,” said Garcia.

    Former pros Eliud Poligrates and Dan Sara, and Jay-R Alabanza are expected to anchor the Skippers’ charge in their bid to advance to the semis for the first time since 2017.

    The Titans will pin their hopes on Aaron Black, Dennis Parcero, and Vince Tolentino.

    AMA Online Education whipped Hazchem 133-90 last Sept. 5.

    The Scorpions destroyed the Soldiers 107-77 last Aug. 30.

    “We know we’re a young team but we’re gonna keep on playing hard as we can,” said CEU strategist Derrick Pumaren.

    Six-foot-11 Senegalese import Maodo Malick Diouf, Rich Guinitaran, Kurt Sunga, and Dave Bernabe will be counted upon by the Scorpions.

    Asia’s Lashes, which pulled off a 72-70 decision over iWalk last Sept. 5, will lean on James Castro, James Martinez, and Adrian Celada.