Giants face Gems in D-League opener
MANILA, Philippines - Jumbo Plastic battles Cebuana Lhuillier, Café France takes on Derulo Accelero while Cagayan Valley tangles with Boracay Rum in the opener of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup on March 24 at The Arena in San Juan.
The Giants, who reached the quarters of the recent Aspirants’ Cup as No. 3 but blew their twice-to-beat edge against the sixth-ranked Blackwater Elite, have toughened up for the coming conference, tapping guards Jerick Canada and Jeff Viernes as well as big men Michael Parala and Lee Denice Villamor.
“We hope our short playoff experience will help toughen up the boys,” said Jumbo Plastic assistant coach Joel Dualan, whose wards open their campaign against the Gems at 2 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Derulo Accelero Oilers also shored up their roster by acquiring guard Gryann Mendoza, forward Mark Acosta and shooting guard Michael Juico.
Boracay Rum also addressed its backcourt issue by enlisting ex-pro Rudy Lingganay and Robin Rono and also signed up center Prince Caperal.
In the case of Cagayan Valley, the team overhauled its roster by signing up eight new players, most of them role players from the defunct Zambales M-Builders. Mark Bringas, Jessie Collado, John Foronda, Jason Melano and Kenneth Ighalo were the only mainstays left in the team.
The Oilers kicks off hostilities against the Café France Bakers at 10 a.m. while the Rising Suns and the Waves collide at 12 noon.