ECOOIL-La Salle tries to extend its mastery against Adalem Construction-St. Clare when the two teams commence their best-of-three semifinals series in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Green Archers are heavily favored in this joust on the strength of their 72-69 win against the Saints last July 27 in the eliminations.
Kevin Quiambao was stupendous in that game and should be more of a threat with Michael Phillips joining him up front.
Guards Evan Nelle, Mark Nonoy, and Schonny Winston have also been activated by EcoOil-La Salle for this 11 a.m. game, but coach Derick Pumaren refuses to rest on his laurels knowing games are won on the court and not on paper.
"St. Clare is still a tough team and as much as we come in as the two-seed, we have to respect our opponents," he said.
The Saints are wearing the underdogs tag in this matchup which only motivates the squad led by Johnsherick Estrada, Joshua Fontanilla, and John Rojas.
"We're ready sa kung ano yung bibigay nila sa amin. Basta ma-guide lang ng tama itong mga players, bibigyan namin sila ng magandang laro," said coach Jinino Manansala after Adalem-St. Clare hacked out a 90-87 win over Builders Warehouse-UST on Wednesday in their do-or-die quarterfinal clash. (RL)