MARINERONG Pilipino gets a rare shot at redemption when it meets Centro Escolar University in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup quarterfinals on Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
For CEU, there's really nothing to lose with coach Chico Manabat unearthing gems in Jerome Santos, Franz Diaz, and Lenard Santiago in this surprise run to the top six.
Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage as the no. 4 seed, the Skippers are hungry to gain a measure of revenge against the Scorpions after suffering the shock 84-77 defeat just last Monday.
But doing so would require Marinerong Pilipino to get its act together and recapture the thunder it displayed early in the season with Juan Gomez de Liano, Jollo Go, and Kemark Carino all back together for the 9 a.m. game.
"Lesson pa rin sa amin yun. Hindi man namin nakuha yung top two, ang mahalaga may advantage pa rin kami at di namin pwedeng sayangin yun," said coach Yong Garcia as his side ended the eliminations losing back-to-back games.
Win and the Skippers arrange a semis date against top-seed Apex Fuel-San Sebastian, but a loss would mean a sudden death duel against the Scorpions scheduled next Wednesday.
"Beyond our expectations ito. This is an opportunity for us to grow at sisiguraduhin naming di na namin ito bibitiwan," he said.