Phoenix, Tanduay start D-League Final series
ON THE cusp of a sweep of PBA D-League titles this season, Phoenix isn’t about to let the opportunity slip away.
Closer than ever in its chase for a first title, Tanduay is determined to finally end years of heartbreak.
The Phoenix Accelerators and Tanduay Rhum Masters begin their best-of-three Finals series for the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.
Gametime is at 4:30 p.m. with reigning Aspirants Cup champion Phoenix setting out as the heavy favorite against a Tanduay squad making its first finals appearance since the league started in 2011.
“We want to win and play with all our hearts,” said Phoenix coach Eric Gonzales, whose squad ousted Cafe France in the semifinals.
“I’m just thankful that we will have the opportunity in the finals.”
The Rhum Masters go to battle riding high on back-to-back wins over top seed Racal in the semifinals.
With Kevin Ferrer and Gelo Alolino holding the fort, the Rhum Masters are brimming with confidence against the Accelerators, whose squad is bannered by MVP contender Mike Tolomia.
The spitfire guard has been superb for the Accelerators this season, while teammates Mac Belo, Ed Daquioag, and Roger Pogoy have stepped up to give Phoenix a boost in the tournament.
The entry of Ferrer in the lineup late in the tournament has worked wonders for coach Lawrence Chongson as the former UST gunner hit the big shots against the Tile Masters in their do-or-die clash last Tuesday.
Chongson said his squad is ready to end the string of heartbreaking campaigns.
“We want to go all the way,” said Chongson. “It will all mean nothing if we don’t win it all.”
The Accelerators started the conference with a 98-79 victory over the Rhum Masters on June 8, and continued their mastery of Tanduay on July 12 with a 108-95 win.