EXPLOSIVE guards Aljon Mariano of University of Santo Tomas and Jett Vidal of Perpetual Help are expected to banner the campaign of Jumbo Plastic Linoleum when it joins the PBA D-League Foundation Cup that opens Tuesday at the San Juan Arena.
Former Ginebra draftee Elliot Tan and Ateneo’s Tonino Gonzaga are the other major players of Jumbo Plastic which opens its campaign against Fruitas in the second game of an opening day triple-header.
Team owner Jimmy Dela Cruz said he hopes his team will have a fighting chance in the conference.
“We're the new kids on the block but we hope to compete and give the established teams a good fight,” said Dela Cruz. “We have a good mix of young and veteran players.”
Head coach Stevenson Tiu is setting a modest goal of a quarterfinal finish, since the team had only the benefit of a one month preparation.
“Hopefully, makapasok kami sa quarterfinals lang naman since we are a new team,” said Tiu, the former Far Eastern University guard, who guided Hope Christian High School to the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Basketball Association crown recently.
“New team kami, we prepared for more than a month pa lang. Talagang new team talaga. Siyempre, we wish to play in the finals, but we're not rushing everything. The important thing is that we will play within the system,” said Tiu.
Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, a 100 percent Filipino-owned company, will also have in its roster former Fruitas Shaker Jumbo Escueta, Edward Daquiaog of UST, Clarence Foronda of FEU, National University’s Choi Ignacio, and St. Claire’s Dennis Santos and Marte Gil.
D-Leaguers Marvin Hayes, Kirk Del Rosario Macky Acosta, and Marlon Gomez will also provide leadership in the team.
Joel Dualan, Noy Catalan, Horacio Lim, and Marlon Celis will be Tiu’s deputies.