NLEX and Big Chill resume their title drive after a one-week break as the semifinals of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup begin Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Road Warriors hope to stay undefeated as they face Blackwater Sports at 2 p.m. while the Superchargers clash with Cebuana Lhuillier at 4 p.m. in the best-of-three series.
NLEX and Big Chill gained outright semifinal berths after securing the top two spots in the eliminations.
The Road Warriors won by 15 points against the Elite in the elimination round but NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez believes it will be much different in the semifinals.
“They (Blackwater Sports) are the league’s top offensive team so I don’t believe that we have an advantage over them,” said Fernandez. “I have no doubt that this is a tough series. So if we intend to win the opener and the series as well, we have to bring our defensive mentality every game.”
Big Chill coach Robert Sison also expects a tight series against Cebuana Lhuillier, which advanced to the semifinals with an 82-77 victory over Café France last Tuesday.
Big Chill and Cebuana Lhuillier ended up tied with 7-2 win-loss records after the eliminations but the Superchargers booked the outright semis spot due to the winner-over-the-other rule.
“It’s a toss-up,” said Sison. “Cebuana Lhuillier is a strong team with a good organization. But we have a formidable team and I think that we can match up with any team.”