PBA D-League semis under way | Inquirer Sports

PBA D-League semis under way

NLEX battles Big Chill; Cebuana Lhuillier tangles with Freego Jeans
By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 12:07 AM January 24, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – A hot streak hasn’t made NLEX any more confident in the semifinals as the Road Warriors go up against the lone squad that beat them in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

Riding on an eight-game roll, the Road Warriors battle a Big Chill side bidding for another upset at the start of their best-of-three series at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.

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“We just have to be ready,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez. “Although we didn’t have a complete lineup at that time, it still gives Big Chill the confidence because we lost against them.”

Cebuana Lhuillier also worries about the pumped-up Freego Jeans in their own semifinal duel at 2 p.m.

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Although the Gems finished second to NLEX in the eliminations at 8-2, one of those losses came against the Jeans Makers.

Both the Road Warriors and the Gems earned outright semifinal berths, the incentive given to the top two teams in the elimination round.

“NLEX is a very deep team,” said Big Chill coach Arsenio Dysangco. “I don’t think we could match up with them. We just have to dig deep and try to find a way to win.”

The Superchargers had to go through the quarterfinal round, where they routed Blackwater, 82-62, last Thursday.

Also dominant in their last outing, the Jeans Makers ousted Boracay Rum, 87-63, in the other quarterfinal pairing.

The defending champion Road Warriors boast a collection of varsity stars led by RR Garcia, Calvin Abueva, Ian Sangalang, Dave Marcelo, Garvo Lanete and Filipino-Americans Chris Ellis and Cliff Hodge.

But Dysangco said it would be difficult for his Superchargers to pull off a repeat of their 85-83 upset of the Road Warriors minus the injured 6-foot-6 Jefferson Morillo and 6-4 Raffy Mangahas.

The Gems, meanwhile, hope to lean on Vic Manuel in getting back at the Jeans Makers, who won their elimination meeting, 77-61.

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TAGS: Aspirants Cup, Basketball, Big Chill Superchargers, Boyet Fernandez, Cebuana Lhuillier Gems, Chris Ellis, Cliff Hodge, Jeff Morrillo, NLEX Road Warriors, PBA D-League, RR Garcia, Semifinals, Sports, Vic Manuel
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