CENTRO Escolar University looks to secure its spot in the 2019 PBA D-League playoffs when it meets lowly SMDC-NU Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Scorpions coach Derrick Pumaren knows how crucial this game is, and he wants his boys to no longer waste the opportunity and strengthen their stranglehold of the top spot in the Foundation Group.
CEU remains unbeaten in six games.
"We're in a position to make it to the next round," he said heading into the 3 p.m. game. "We have to take care of things, can't let our guards down," Pumaren said.
Maodo Malick Diouf has been the rock for CEU, but in its 93-76 win over Marinerong Pilipino last April 16, also garnered positive performances from Keanu Caballero and Tyron Chan.
On the other hand, SMDC-NU is still on a high from its breakthrough 107-75 win over CD14 Designs-Trinity. Bulldog Dave Ildefonso drops 30 points in that game.
"In our first three games, we're regressing. But slowly, we got ourselves together in the past games," observed NU coach Jamike Jarin.
Significantly, the game is a do-or-die for SMDC-NU, which totes a 1-5 record.