MANILA, Philippines – Already assured of spots in the semifinals, Go for Gold and Marinerong Pilipino-Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) are looking to close out their elimination campaigns in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on a strong note when they face off on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
A win by the Scratchers will also help them maintain their spot in the Top 2, but coach Charles Tiu knows this is easier said than done – especially as his team has been plagued by injuries late in the conference.
"The challenge is to blend them with the team again," he said.
Fortunately for Go for Gold (6-2), they will welcome back Gab Banal who has missed the team's last two games.
Game time is at 1 p.m.
The Scratchers won their first meeting against the Engineers, 93-88, last June 21, thanks to standout performances from Banal and Jai Reyes.
Marinerong Pilipino-TIP (5-3) now seeks to erase that memory, with coach Koy Banal fully aware of the implications of their upcoming game.
"We still want to win. Iba 'yung going to the playoffs on a winning note," said Banal, who will once again bank on the trio of Trevis Jackson, Robbie Manalang, and Jorey Napoles.
The Engineers enter the game on a three-match winning streak, with their last victory an 80-74 come-from-behind triumph over Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC).
Meanwhile, also-ran squads AMA Online Education (0-9) and Batangas-EAC (3-6) battle for pride when they finish off their schedules, also on Monday afternoon.
Game time is at 3 p.m., with both teams hoping to get a silver lining on what has been a disappointing campaign.
The Generals were initially in the thick of the playoff race, but an ill-timed three-game slide dashed their hopes. A 100-93 loss to Che'Lu Bar & Grill formally eliminated Batangas-EAC last Thursday.
AMA, for its part, is desperate to just get on the win column after losing its first nine assignments.
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