MANILA, Philippines—Just because JRU has reached the quarterfinals of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, doesn’t mean it is ready to take it slow.
In fact, now that the pressure is off the Bombers’ shoulders to perform well in their maiden conference in the league, they have their sights set even higher.
With a 5-4, they’re on a prime spot to clinch one of two twice-to-beat edges in the quarterfinals.
“We’ll be more comfortable playing with the pressure off our shoulders,” said head coach Vergel Meneses, as Fruitas’ victory on Tuesday handed his squad a seat in the quarterfinals.
“But we’re still very motivated to win because we want to clinch that [twice-to-beat] advantage,” Meneses added.
The Heavy Bombers will build on momentum off their four-game winning streak as they go against Cebuana Lhuillier, which is hard-pressed to win in order to save its bid.
But Meneses is confident that his squad, made up most of standouts in the NCAA, will come out the hungrier squad on Thursday.
“My players have shown some maturity the past few games so I’m confident we can get the job done,” said Meneses.
Meneses also relished the needed break after their 74-61 victory over also-ran Erase Xlfoliant last week.
“The weeklong break also allowed us to re-energize and focus for this game,” Meneses said.
Should JRU win, the Gems—who used to be the top squads in the league—are eliminated while the Shakers automatically clinch the remaining quarterfinals slot.
The Heavy Bombers would also send Big Chill to number five in the quarterfinals due to inferior quotient, with a victory on Thursday.
Cebuana Lhuillier and Big Chill clash at 2 p.m. at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig while Erase Xfoliant goes against semi-finalist-in-waiting Blackwater Sports at 4 p.m.