CEU, Zark's collide as both teams look to build winning run

PBA (file photo)
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--For CEU coach Yong Garcia and Zark’s Burgers mentor Jade Padrigao, winning their first games in the PBA D-League is such a huge sigh of relief as they can finally take the pressure out of their system.

But things must come to its end, and unfortunately for the youthful mentors, that will come at each other’s expense when the Scorpions and the Jawbreakers face off Thursday in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Tasked to lead CEU after the departure of long-time coach Egay Macaraya, Garcia is just ecstatic to chalk one in the win column, especially with the school-based core he’s banking on this conference.

“Wala kaming recruits eh, so puro CEU ito. We know na yung pressure is always there, pero sinasabi lang namin na ito na yung chance nila para mabigyan ng exposure at ma-showcase nila yung talent nila. We just have to grab the chance,” he said.

Rod Ebondo hasn’t shied away from taking the baton, carrying his side to a 72-70 victory over Batangas last Thursday to score the breakthrough win.

On the other hand, Padrigao breathed that sigh of relief after leading Zark’s to a 109-91 win over AMA Online Education last Monday.

“At least, wala na yung jinx,” he quipped, after going 0-15 in his coaching career, dating back to his days at the helm with ZC Mindanao Aguilas in the 2016 Foundation Cup.

Robby Celiz and James Mangahas flexed their veteran mantle to help the Jawbreakers end the three-game losing streak, and are now counted on to continue that winning groove as they shoot for an upset against the Scorpions.

Game time is at 5 p.m., following the 3 p.m. tip-off of Batangas and AMA Online Education.

Coach Eric Gonzales wants nothing more for his BatangueƱos but to bounce back from that heartbreaking loss to CEU, and what better team to end their woes against the still-winless Titans.

Follow the site on Twitter: @DugoutPH