CEBUANA Lhuillier and Jose Rizal University have done half of the job and look to complete their upset bid on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The fifth-ranked Heavy Bombers take on fourth-seeded Big Chill in the curtain raiser at 2 p.m., while the sixth-placed Gems face No. 3 Cagayan Valley at 4 p.m.
JRU and Cebuana edged their respective twice-to-beat quarterfinal foes on Tuesday, the Heavy Bombers scoring a 63-61 decision over Big Chill and the Gems surviving the Rising Suns, 84-83, to arrange the do-or-die matches.
“Yung mga bata, determinado sila,” said JRU head coach Vergel Meneses before their rematch with Big Chill, runner-up in the 2012 Foundation Cup. “Iba ’yung morale ng mga bata. Tignan namin kung makukuha namin against Big Chill.”
Big Chill continues to struggle after the loss of top scorer Terrence Romeo due to injury, and only Arvie Bringas scored in double figures for the Superchargers on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Gems have stretched their winning streak to four games and are hoping the momentum would carry them over the favored Rising Suns.
“I think the game on Thursday will be a game of character,” said Cebuana Lhuillier coach Beaujing Acot. “The team that is willing to go the extra mile will go to the semis. I thought tonight (Tuesday) we showed some character.”
The Rising Suns had four players in double figures but sorely missed Ping Exciminiano, Raymond Almazan, Mark Bringas, and Eloy Poligrates in the second half.
Top-seed NLEX awaits the winner of the Cebuana Lhuillier-Cagayan Valley pairing, while Blackwater Sports will meet the winner of the JRU-Big Chill matchup.