WILL the third time be a charm for coach Stevenson Tiu?
Foiled twice in his bid to lead his former teams to the Promised Land, Tiu seeks redemption when BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare seeks the crown today in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
“Palaging sa last game kami (natatalo). Hopefully, this time, ma-break namin iyong jinx,” said Tiu, whose Che’Lu Bar and Grill squads lost to Zark’s Burger-Lyceum and Go for Gold in the finals of the Aspirant’s Cup and Foundation Cup last year, respectively, with both series going the distance.
“Maybe naging complacent sila (Marinerong Pilipino), medyo naging relax. Ita-take namin iyong opportunity na iyon and hopefully, makuha namin iyong Game 3,” he added.
The Saints clash with the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers today in Game 3 of their best-of-3 titular showdown for the season-ending crown at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The do-or-die match is set at 3:30 p.m., with the winner bagging its maiden title.
Marinerong Pilipino took the series opener via a 69-59 victory last Oct. 3.
BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare redeemed itself and got back at the Skippers, scoring a 74-60 triumph in Game 2 last Oct. 9 to even the count at 1-1 in the race-to-2 duel.
Six-foot-6 Malian reinforcement Mohamed Pare, Jessie Collado, Jhaps Bautista, Joshua Fontanilla, Junjie Hallare, Alfred Batino and Hessed Gabo will be counted upon by the Saints.
Marinerong Pilipino strategist Yong Garcia admitted his charges were outplayed by BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare in Game 2.
“Ang naging problema is talagang hindi naglaro as a team. Hindi namin sinunod ang game plan namin,” said Garcia.
“Sana maka-adjust kami at malampasan namin ang energy nila.”
The Skippers will pin their hopes on newly-minted MVP and former pro Eliud Poligrates, and fellow former PBA players Mark Yee, and Byron Villarias, Jay-R Alabanza, Jhonard Clarito, and Rev Diputado.