MANILA -- Defending champion EcoOil-La Salle and Wangs Basketball @27 Strikers-Letran will clash in the 2023 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
At stake in the 4:00 p.m. match is an outright semifinals berth.
Letran got a shot at the coveted semis seat by clipping University of Perpetual Help System-Delta on Tuesday.
The Archers, on the other hand, have one foot in the semis with its 4-1 record but Letran (3-2) could thwart La Salle's bid for a direct passage into the semis with another victory.
If the Knights and the Archers finish the eliminations with identical win-loss records, Letran will join semifinalist in waiting Marinerong Pilipino on the strength of the winner over the other rule.
Still, La Salle will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
"We want to focus on just getting better. It's a building block on where we want to be. Gusto lang namin ay mag-improve as we go along," said La Salle assistant coach Gian Nazario.
"We're not concerned with the standings at this point."
For his part, Letran coach Rensy Bajar encourages his wards to grab the opportunity.
"Kahit paano, tsansa namin ito para sa No. 2. May pag-asa pa. We have to (capitalize) on this opportunity," Bajar declared.
With AMA Online (0-6) already out of contention, PSP (2-4) is locked at No. 6 while Perpetual (3-3) and CEU (3-3) are still on the lookout for the result of Letran-La Salle duel to determine their quarterfinal seedings.