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CEU fights for D-League life vs. Racal; Flying V guns for elims sweep vs. twice-to-beat seeking Batangas

By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--Regarded as a contender prior to the season, Centro Escolar University finds itself in a precarious position as it fights for its life in the final day of the eliminations Tuesday in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Coach Yong Garcia, however, opted to not put too much pressure on his Scorpions as they seek to complete the playoff picture with a win over Racal Motors in the 3 p.m. game.

“The team has been preparing and training hard for the game and I always remind the boys to give their best, play hard, focus, and execute kasi nga it’s a do-or-die game for us,” he said.

CEU surrenders the last quarterfinal seat to idle Wangs Basketball (5-5) with a defeat to also-ran Racal.

But a victory could mean the world for the Scorpions as they will not only clinch a playoff seat but also possibly, a twice-to-beat advantage, still depending on the result of the Batangas-Flying V game at 5 p.m.

Elated from advancing to their first postseason appearance, the BatangueƱos want to continue dreaming as coach Eric Gonzales seek to become the first team to put a blemish on the Thunder’s pristine 9-0 record.

“Syempre ilalaban natin yan. Laban lang ng laban. Hopefully, magkaroon ng milagro sa Flying V game para sa amin,” he said.

Robby Celiz, formerly of Zark’s Burgers, joins Batangas to give the squad a much needed scoring jolt on the heels of Joseph Sedurifa’s departure to Meralco.

But Flying V has aspirations of its own, as it shoots to only become the fourth team to complete an eliminations sweep, following the footsteps of NLEX (2012 and 2014 Foundation Cups) and Cagayan Valley (2015 Aspirants’ Cup).

However, it’s the least of coach Eric Altamirano’s concerns as he looks at this final tussle as the Thunder’s chance to finetune their camp before waiting for their semifinals date.

“We still have a lot of things to work on. Hindi ibig sabihin na pasok na kami sa semis is that we will not give our best. That mentality will help us especially when we get into the playoffs,” he said.

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