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St. Clare pulls out from PBA D-League

No St. Clare this year in the PBA D-League PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—What was supposedly an eight-team field for the PBA D-League is now down to seven with two days left before the amateur league's formal opening.

PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro confirmed on Tuesday that St. Clare has backed out of the tournament.

"Last Thursday lang sila nag-back-out. Dr. Clarita Adalem wrote a letter. Due to internal issues, nag-back-out sila last minute," Castro said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the PSC Conference Room inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

According to Castro, the Saints' pullout came as a surprise because members of their coaching staff still attended the coaches' meeting last week.

On why the NAASCU powerhouse suddenly pulled the plug from participating in the PBA D-League, Castro simply answered, "Budget issues."

Even with St. Clare out, the D-League remains a competitive bunch with defending champion La Salle-EcoOil, fellow collegiate squads Marinerong Pilipino-San Beda, Wangs-Letran, AMA, Perpetual Help, and Centro Escolar University, and pro club Philippine Sports Performance playing.

To be called the Gymers, PSP is bringing along the core of the Cagayan De Oro team that played in the PSL Dumper Cup to be backstopped by former PBA players Jon-Jon Gabriel and Val Acuña.

PBA stars CJ Perez, Jericho Cruz, and Jack Corpuz will be part of John Paolo Lao's coaching staff for PSP.

The Gymers face the Red Lions in the tournament opener at 2 p.m. Thursday, while the Green Archers battle the Scorpions in the main game at 4 p.m., both happening at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

After a single round-robin elimination round, the top two teams will enter the semifinals outright, while the next four teams will play in the quarterfinals.

The third and fourth seeds will hold twice-to-beat advantages against the fifth and sixth seeds.

The semis and the finals are all best-of-three affairs.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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