By Jonas Terrado
(Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City)
4 p.m. – Marinero vs Go for Gold
6 p.m. – CEU vs Che’Lu
Che’Lu Bar and Grill and Go for Gold eye a sweep of their respective foes today and arrange a title showdown between the top two teams of the eliminations in Game 2 of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Go for Gold takes a crack at the first finals berth in the 4 p.m. clash with Marinerong Pilipino-TIP before Che’Lu looks to finish off Centro Escolar University in the other semifinal match set at 6 p.m.
Both teams posted double-digit victories in the semis opener last Tuesday, but the result hardly reflected how close the two matches were.
A pair of threes by Chris Bitoon and Jeff Viernes prevented Che’Lu from completing CEU’s comeback from 20 points down in the third and secure a 112-97 victory.
Despite flaunting the form that enabled them to gain the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, Revellers coach Stevenson Tiu is not counting the Scorpions out.
“Even if they’re a college team (CEU), they play with a never-say-die attitude,” said Tiu. “That is why we have to match their energy on Thursday.”
Tiu will bank on MVP candidates Jeff Viernes, Jessie Collado and Bitoon and late acquisition Levi Hernandez to complete Che’Lu’s mission of making the finals for the second straight conference.
Looking to play the spoiler roles for CEU are MVP contender Pierce Chan and Judel Fuentes, who scored 27 points in Game 1.
Meanwhile, Go for Gold is eager to continue its hot streak from three-point country after making 10 of 12 in the second half to seal a 96-87 drubbing of Marinerong Pilipino.
Matt Salem and Jai Reyes combined for nine triples in the victory that put Go for Gold on the cusp of reaching the finals in just its second conference in the PBA’s developmental tournament.
“Hopefully they can do that the rest of the playoffs,” said Scratchers coach Charles Tiu. “Luckily, we got away with the win in Game 1, but Game 2 is gonna be tough.”