OTHER than Hapee, Cebuana Lhuillier is also considered as one of the teams to beat in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
The Gems’ acquisition of several players from Blackwater such as Kevin Ferrer, Allan Mangahas, and Gio Ciriacruz has a lot to do with it, while likewise drafting La Salle stalwarts Norbert Torres and Almond Vosotros, along with Bradwyn Guinto and ex-pro Magi Sison to shore up the line-up that reached the quarterfinals last conference.
But coach Boycie Zamar downplayed the strength of the team going to their opening game against new franchise Racal Motorsales when the league kicks off on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Gametime is at 2 p.m.
“Lahat naman ng teams, nangangarap sa taas. Kami one step at a time. Basta tayo, ang prinsipyo natin, per quarter ang labanan, rebounding, at making defensive stops,” said Zamar.
The Cebuana coach, however, admitted the team got deeper with its new acquisitions as it seeks to figure well against other title contenders including Hapee, which got several big names in both collegiate and commercial amateur leagues.
“Ang rotation namin ngayon, malalim. This conference, kailangan umabot sa 14-man rotation,” said Zamar.
The Gems will play a Racal Motorsales side which has a school tie-up with St. Clare College of the NAASCU.
Zamar however, warned about taking things lightly in the Gems’ first game.
“Hindi mo puwedeng maliitin ang mga school-based teams dahil they want to prove something,” said Zamar.
In other games during the opener, Café France faces MP Hotel at 12 noon, while AMA University takes on Wangs Basketball at 4 p.m.