2 do-or-die games end D-L q’finals


MARK Canlas of Big Chill loses the ball to Jecster Apinan of JRU in their D-League tussle Tuesday at San Juan Arena. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Riding high on hard-fought wins Tuesday, Jose Rizal U and Cebuana Lhuillier hope to complete a stirring turnaround today as they battle separate rivals in the quarterfinals of the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The Bombers can boot out the Big Chill Superchargers and enter the semifinals with another victory at 2 p.m.  while the Gems have the same goal at 4 p.m. against the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns who, like Big Chill, came into the quarterfinals with a twice-to-beat edge.

NLEX and Blackwater Sports have earlier gained outright semifinal seats after finishing 1-2 in the elimination-round.

JRU showed poise down the stretch in hacking out a 63-61 triumph Tuesday and coach Vergel Meneses said the win has given his team plenty of confidence heading into the rubber match.

“The guys are determined to win,” said Meneses. “What we achieved  will motivate them even more.”

Tipped to challenge NLEX for the title at the start of the tournament, the Superchargers have been mired in a slump of late, losing four of their last six games in the elimination round.

Both JRU and Big Chill struggled with their shooting in Game 1, but it was the Bombers who turned up the heat defensively at crunchtime.

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