TEN teams including defending champion Blackwater Sports and powerhouse NLEX battle it out for the PBA D-League Foundation Cup set to open on March 24.
The Elite are eyeing a repeat of their title conquest last year in this same conference when they swept the Road Warriors as the Ever Billena franchise hopes to clinch another league championship before possibly heading to the pros.
But standing in their path is the five-time champion Road Warriors themselves, who made it back on top after their conquest of the Aspirants Cup recently.
Other teams returning for another tour of duty are Big Chill, Boracay Rum, Cagayan Valley, Café France, Cebuana Lhuillier, Derulo Accelero, Hog’s Breath Café, and Jumbo Plastic Linoleum.
Currently, Blackwater and NLEX have submitted their respective letter of intents to join the PBA, although the league board won’t be coming up with its decision whether to accept the two as expansion ballclubs until April.
Their pending membership application in the pro ranks is expected to motivate both the Elite and the Road Warriors to go all-out in what possibly could be their ‘swan song’ in the D-League, where the two are among its original member teams.
Wangs Basketball, National University-Banco De Oro, Air21-Arellano, and Zambales M-Builders decided to skip the season-ending conference after a stint in the Aspirants Cup.