MANILA, Philippines -- The Taguig Lady Generals are well aware that they have a tall task ahead of them in the finals of the WNBL's 2021 season.
The Lady Generals, bannered by former UAAP Finals MVP Monique del Carmen and former UAAP MVP Marichu Bacaro, will be up against a Parañaque team that went a perfect 8-0 in the elimination round.
"Itong Parañaque vs. Taguig, comparable siya kay David vs. Goliath," said Bacaro, who starred for University of Santo Tomas in college, during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.
The Lady Aces won both of their elimination round games against the Lady Generals, 58-37 and 63-49, and Parañaque overpowered Quezon in the semifinals to advance to the best-of-3 championship series with a perfect slate.
Taguig, meanwhile, went 4-4 in the elimination round, and were tied 1-1 with Glutagence in their own semis series before the Glow Boosters forfeited the third game over their owner's failure to settle their franchise fee.
"Talagang powerhouse talaga sila," Bacaro said of the Parañaque team that is led by former national team mainstay Allana Lim and current Gilas Pilipinas Women's center Clare Castro, and captained by Vanessa Santos.
"We need to double our effort para magkaroon po ng magandang laban. Pinaghahandaan po namin every day. Nagwo-work hard po kami sa practices, at sama-sama po talaga kami," she said of their preparations.
Taguig center Karla Manuel anticipates that they will have their hands full with the Parañaque frontline, as Lim and Castro have been superb for the Lady Aces in the season.
Lim, the former UAAP MVP from Far Eastern University, is averaging 17.3 points and 13.5 rebounds per game, while Castro, another former Lady Tamaraw, is putting up 9.6 points and 10.0 boards per contest.
"I think our main advantage over Parañaque is our defense," said Manuel. "Wala kaming individual player na star talaga. Kami, we play as a a team, and 'yung nila coach is 'yung sinusunod talaga namin."
"Double effort lang kami, especially on defense. 'Yun kasi ang strategy din namin to win games," she added.
Game 1 of the best-of-3 series is on Saturday, still at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in Pampanga where the entire WNBL and NBL seasons have been held in a bubble.