|Valenzuela and Quezon City are set for a quick rematch of their intense encounter last week. MPBL (file photo)|
By Dugout Philippines
BATANGAS CITY -- South meets North as top-ranked Batangas City battles Bataan at the start of the MPBL-Anta Rajah Cup at the Batangas City Coliseum.
Perfect at home in their three games here in the elimination round, the Tanduay-backed Athletics hope to carry their solid showing in the playoffs against the eighth-seeded Defenders, who are being supported by BaiShipping.
Gary David will have to come out loaded as he leads the Defenders, who were able to get the last seat in the quarterfinal round after winding up in a tie with Imus Bandera-GLC Truck and Services a eighth to ninth places.
But by virtue of the win over the other rule, Bataan was able to secure the last berth.
A former scoring champion in the PBA for several years, David is hoping to duplicate the performance he did six years ago when he led the No.8 seed Powerade team to an upset win over the No.1-ranked B-Meg Llamados during the 2012 Philippine Cup quarterfinal round.
Mac Tan, head coach of the Athletics, consider David as the most dangerous player to guard, making him the marked man in their 9 p.m. encounter.
Equally exciting will be the game between Valenzuela and Quezon City, two teams which figured in a tightly-fought encounter a few days ago.
The Yulz-supported Classic salvaged a close victory over the Royal Manila-backed Capitals in their elimination round encounter, but the start of their best-of-three quarterfinals series would be an entirely different thing, according to Chris Gavina.
“It was a tight encounter during our last meeting, and we expect it to be a lot tighter in the quarterfinals series as both teams want to move closer to the semis,” said Gavina. “We just have to continue the winning mentality.”
Both teams are likely to miss the services of their key guards – Paolo Hubalde of Valenzuela and Andoy Estrella of Quezon City, but the match up in the middle will be as interesting with Mac Andaya of the Classic and Jay Collado of the Capitals leading their respective squads.
Follow the site on Twitter: @DugoutPH