Freego, Big Chill seek semifinal slotsBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – Freego Jeans and Big Chill shoot for semifinal berths when they clash with separate rivals Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage, the Super Chargers tangle with the Blackwater Elite at 2 p.m. at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Jeans Makers, who finished third at the end of the classification phase, will also have the same edge against the Boracay Rum Waves in the 4 p.m. game.
NLEX and Cebuana Lhuillier have already clinched semifinal berths after finishing 1-2 in the elimination round.
Blackwater mentor Leo Isaac and Boracay Rum coach Lawrence Chongson remain unfazed by the odds.
Isaac’s confidence stems from the Elite’s 65-48 win over RnW Pacific Pipes—a victory that gave Blackwater the last quarterfinal spot.
“The guys are enjoying the game again and we hope that it continues on Thursday (today),” Isaac said.
The Elite are looking to avenge their 55-58 loss to Big Chill a week ago.
And Superchargers coach Arsenio Dysangco is bracing for a strong response from Blackwater.
“We expect Blackwater to come out with a lot of aggressiveness and intensity, so we can’t be complacent,” said Dysangco, who will welcome back Raffy Reyes to the lineup after the starting guard was sidelined by conjunctivitis last week.
Reyes is an integral part of the Superchargers’ formidable rotation that also includes versatile forwards Jessie Collado, Alex Mallari and guards Elliot Tan and Jopher Custodio.
“They are a different team now compared to our elimination game,” said Dysangco, whose team will be out to shut down Elite shooters Sam Marata, Jeric Fortuna and Clark Bautista.
Chongson feels that the adversity the Waves went through in the elimination round have prepared them for the tough outing against the Jeans Makers.
“We have to build on the momentum that we have acquired from our knockout game (against PC Gilmore) and carry that momentum against Freego Jeans,” he said.
The Adamson trio of Alex Nuyles, Lester Alvarez and Eric Camson will lead Freego, which has to deal with the Waves’ athletic and experienced lineup.
Tags: Alex Mallari , Basketball , Big Chill Superchargers , Blackwater Elite , Boracay Rum , Clark Bautista , Freego Jeans , Jeric Fortuna , Lawrence Chongson , Leo Isaac , PBA D-League , Raffy Reyes , Sam Marata , Sports