CEU Scorpions frontrunners in new D-League conference
MANILA, Philippines—Centro Escolar University’s improbable finals run has made it a favorite to win the title in the coming PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
The Scorpions are expected to follow up their campaign in the season-opening conference, where they made the finals despite having just an eight-man roster, with another memorable stint.
“I think any team who has line-up who are veterans in the D-League would be a strong team. And I can never count out CEU because of the program that they’ve built. Regardless of who the coaches are the school has a very successful program,” said Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) coach Potit De Vera in Filipino during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum Tuesday at Amelie Hotel.
“It’s going to be an interesting conference because of the diversity of the players and the coaches and the ages—from college kids to veterans—are going to play with and against each other.”
But CEU assistant coach Gabby Velasco downplayed the team’s frontrunner tag and said that the Scorpions team that will participate in the Foundation Cup is going to be different from previous side that lost to Cignal-Ateneo in the championship round two weeks ago.
“The seven or six players from last conference would still be there, but the rest will come from our training team while the others are from our recent tryouts. So this is going to be a totally different team,” said Velasco.
“We wanted to improve and raise the basketball program of CEU that’s why we joined the D-League. So I don’t think it would be fair to look us at again with the same caliber and same strength that we have last conference.”
Aside from the Scorpions, the five other school-based teams according to PBA D-League official Rosc Teotico are the AMA Titans, TIP Engineers, BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare, Nailtalk-St. Dominic Savio, and McDavid La Salle Araneta University.
Marinero Pilipino Skippers, iWalk Chargers, Italianos Homme Shoes, Hyperwash Laundromat Vipers, Sterishred Medical, Alberei Kings (Zamboanga), and Hazchem Inc complete the cast.
Bengua, who is D-League tournament director, said a 14th team is still negotiating its possible entry and has been given a Monday deadline to finalize everything.
The Foundation Cup kicks off on July 25 at Paco Arena.
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