August 20, 2022

Anything goes as Marinerong Pilipino, La Salle battle for headstart in Aspirants' Cup title series

MARINERONG Pilipino and EcoOil-La Salle clash in Game 1 of their 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup title series on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Skippers and the Green Archers are both hungry for glory and their second meeting in the conference is expected to be dogfight as they battle for the headstart in 12 p.m. encounter.

For Marinerong Pilipino, it's all about redemption after finishing as bridesmaids in the 2019 Foundation Cup to BRT Sumisip-St. Clare.

"Natuto na kami sa experience na yun. Ayaw na naming maulit yung ganoon kaya gutom lang talaga ang mga bata para sa panalo," said coach Yong Garcia after the Skippers eliminated top-seed Apex Fuel-San Sebastian in the decider of their semifinals series, 69-64, last Wednesday.

Magnificent all conference long, Juan Gomez de Liano looks to replicate his excellence in the two team's first faceoff back in July 12 where he tallied a triple-double in the Skippers' 84-64 rout.

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Providing support are sniper Jollo Go and big man Kemark Carino as Marinerong Pilipino try to recapture their early success and impose the same level of dominance against the Green Archers.

But this is a different EcoOil-La Salle squad, one that has gotten a big jolt upon the arrivals of Kevin Quiambao, Schonny Winston, Evan Nelle, and Mark Nonoy as seen in its dominant 97-74 Game Three thrashing of Adalem Construction-St. Clare in their semifinals series.

"They're always a tough team to face, but we have to be prepared," warned coach Derick Pumaren. "Whatever it takes, we will continue what we have to do." (RL)