|Builders Warehouse-UST will be featured in a triple-header in the PBA D-League. PBA Media Group (file photo)|
By Dugout Philippines
MANILA—High expectations are placed on Builders Warehouse-UST as it starts its run in the 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Thursday against Technological Institute of the Philippines.
UAAP MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo flanks the Growling Tigers as they mark their return to the developmental ranks at 3 p.m. at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
It's an almost intact lineup for coach Aldin Ayo as he also parades UAAP Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy and Rhenz Abando.
CJ Cansino, who missed last season's campaign as he continued his recovery from an ACL injury, will also make his PBA D-League debut together with the Growling Tigers' bumper crop of rookies.
Yet as exciting as the prospects of seeing this run-and-gun Builders Warehouse-UST is, their focus is on developing the much-needed maturity in this offseason.
"Yun naman ang sadya namin dito sa D-League, na mas mag-mature pa ang mga players namin," said the straightforward Ayo.
The Engineers can provide a good acid test for them as coach Potit de Vera parades a dangerous crew led by Senegalese center Papa Ndiaye and forwards Bryan and Ivan Santos.
Meanwhile, RK Ilagan will be front and center for APEX Fuel Mindanao-SSCR as it opens its campaign against AMA Online Senior High.
The knockdown shooter, who set the league ablaze last season, is expected to lead a rebuilding Golden Stags team as he expects to get enough support from JM Calma, Ken Villapando, Romel Calahat, and Jessie Sumoda.
"Challenge sa amin ito na makahanap ng bagong contributors na makakatulong kay RK," said coach Egay Macaraya.
Game time is at 1 p.m. with the Titans parading 17-year-old top rookie pick Reed Baclig and celebrities Andre Paras and Eduardo "Young JV" Kapunan.
Seaoil-FEU caps off the triple-header at 5 p.m. when it collides against Family Mart-Enderun.
It will be a reunion for backcourt partners L-Jay Gonzales and RJ Abarrientos as the former Baby Tamaraws are set to weave their magic for the Extreme Racers.
Nigerian big man Emman Ojuola will be the man in the middle for Seaoil-FEU as he'll be joined by holdovers Ken Tuffin and Brandrey Bienes.
The Titans, on the other hand, will bank on the leadership of Jayvee Marcelino and Toci Tansingco, who were both on loan from Phoenix.
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