MARINERONG Pilipino and BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare begin their title showdown in the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Game One of the best-of-three championship series tips off at 3:30 p.m.
The Skippers have won all of their nine games heading into the title match, highlighted by a two-game sweep of Technological Institute of the Philippines in the semifinals.
Coach Yong Garcia is glad that Marinerong Pilipino is in the finals for the first time since it entered the developmental ranks in 2017, but he's not settling for just an appearance.
"We're happy na nasa finals kami pero mas masaya siguro kung makuha namin yung championship," said Garcia.
Conference MVP frontrunner Eloy Poligrates and fellow seasoned players Mark Yee and Dan Sara are expected to spearhead Marinerong Pilipino's attack.
Standing in their way is a BRT Sumisip-St. Clare side that is as determined to succeed.
The Saints were impressive as well, sweeping their assignments in the eliminations to the quarterfinals before finishing off rivals CEU in three games in the semis.
Coach Stevenson Tiu vowed not to back down against the Skippers loaded with veterans.
"Obviously underdog kami. But I told them, na-reach natin finals, so it's your time to shine," said Tiu, who is making his third D-League finals appearance after two with Che'Lu Bar and Grill.
Malian center Mohammed Pare, Joshua Fontanilla and Junjie Hallare are expected to lead BRT Sumisip-St. Clare once more.