Newcomer Jumbo seeks big D-League impact


MANILA, Philippines — Aljon Mariano, a revelation for University of Santo Tomas in the last UAAP season, hopes to provide the same spark when he leads new team Jumbo Plastic Linoleum in the PBA D-League starting this Tuesday.

Teaming up with Mariano are University of Perpetual Help gunner Jett Vidal, Mapua’s Macky Acosta, National University’s Choi Ignacio, Jumbo Escueta, Marvin Hayes and Elliot Tan.

Jumbo, one of the three debuting teams this conference, kicks off its bid against Fruitas at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

“We have a good mix of young and veteran players,” said team owner Jimmy dela Cruz. “We’re the new kids on the block but we hope to compete and give the established teams a good fight.”

Stevenson Tiu, who recently steered Hope Christian High School to the Tiong Lian championship, will call the shots for Jumbo.

“We wish to play in the finals but we’re not rushing everything,” said Tiu, who will be assisted by former PBA player Joel Dualan, Noy Catalan, Horacio Lim and Marlon Celis. “The important thing is that we will play within the system.”

Rounding out the squad are UST’s Edward Daquiaog, FEU’s Clarence Foronda, Letran’s Kirk del Rosario, Perpetual’s Marlon Gomez, Ateneo’s Luis Gonzaga, St. Clare’s Dennis Santos and Marte Gil. Jefferson Dela Cruz serves as team representative.

Jumbo Plastic Linoleum is a 100 percent Filipino-owned company that produces Quality PVC floormatting, linoleum and other products for home design and improvement.

“D-League is fast gaining a wide audience so this is also one way to promote our own product,” said Dela Cruz.

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