Saints, Engineers eye semis berths

September 15, 2019

BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare and Technological Institute of the Philippines play separate rivals today, hoping to complete the semifinal cast in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.

The Saints try to seal a return trip to the Final Four as they meet Hyperwash at 1:30 p.m., while the Engineers go up against Black Mamba at 3:30 p.m. in a pair of quarterfinal matches at the Paco Arena.

Armed with the twice-to-beat quarterfinals incentive, BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare and TIP simply need to hurdle their lower-ranked foes to join Marinerong Pilipino and Centro Escolar University in the semis.

The Saints may have clobbered the Vipers by 57 points, 129-72, in their Aug. 1 meeting, but coach Steve Tiu warned that the playoffs is a different matter.

”Pagdating sa quarters and semifinals, syempre it will be a different story,” said Tiu. “Lahat ng tambak namin, hindi naman make-carry over, so we have to start from scratch again.”

BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare, which also made it to the Final Four in the previous conference, topped Group B with a perfect 6-0 card.

Hyperwash is coming off a 70-64 win over Italianos Homme last Sept. 5.

As the fourth-ranked team in their bracket, coach Joel Palapal is looking forward for his Vipers to keep their winning ways to force a do-or-die match.

”Knowing these kinds of players, kahit bad start kami, nakapag-cope up sila at nakapasok kami sa playoffs. Hopefully mas maging maayos pa tong playoffs para sa amin,” said coach Joel Palapal.

The Engineers finished second behind the Saints in Group B with a 5-1 card and the long break will definitely help them a lot to prepare for bigger battles ahead.

TIP has not played for almost a month since scoring a 105-95 win over Alberei last Aug. 19.

”We’ve played some tune-ups during the break so I don’t think it will be an issue,” said Engineers mentor Potit De Vera. “Handa naman ang players natin and they know what’s at stake.”

As the No. 3 seed in Group B, Black Mamba hopes to deliver its best effort to prolong its campaign in the season-ending conference.

TIP defeated Black Mamba, 110-99, in their showdown last Aug. 15.