PBA D-League: La Salle out to boost semis bid


Posted at May 25 2023 03:01 AM

Kevin Quiambao in action for EcoOil-La Salle in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup. PBA Images.
Kevin Quiambao in action for EcoOil-La Salle in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup. PBA Images.

MANILA -- Reigning champion EcoOil-La Salle aims to bolster its outright semifinal bid against also-ran AMA Online, while Centro Escolar U tries to rebound versus PSP in the 2023 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup, Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The Green Archers (3-1) look to join Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda (4-1) at the top spot and at the same time, boost their chances of finishing in the top 2 after the elimination round. 

They collide against the winless Titans (0-5) at 4 p.m.

Only the top 2 teams will gain automatic tickets to the Final Four – with the other four figuring in the quarterfinals. CEU (2-2), which is still in play for the spots, is also seeking to fuel its bid in a crucial tiff against PSP (2-3) at 2 p.m.

All remaining teams – including Perpetual Help (3-2) and Wangs Basketball @27 Strikers-Letran (2-2) on the lookout – remain in contention for that goal, making it a must for EcoOil-La Salle to take care of business and dodge any complication down the stretch.

"We can't play relaxed," said coach Gian Nazario, who has been tasked by new head coach Topex Robinson to steer the team in the D-League.

"Hindi kami pwedeng umalis sa sistema namin. But we're still on the learning curve. We know we'll have struggles at mas gusto namin iyon ngayon. It will make us better."

Though wary of an upset ax from the Titans, La Salle is poised to prevail as they have welcomed back brothers Mike and Ben Philippines from their national team duties in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.

Mentor Jeff Perlas also expects the same mentality from his wards as the Scorpions seek to shrug off their costly 93-72 loss against Perpetual the other day.

"It's a challenging stretch for us but it's all about our desire. Kung gusto naming maabot yung summit, it may not be a championship but just getting better. We have to climb it. There will be struggles but it's how we bounce back from a loss," he said.