Taganas, fellow MPBL veterans get D-League call-ups ahead of playoffs
After a stint with the Bulacan Kuyas in the MPBL, Jay-R Taganas has been tapped to add veteran presence to Che'lu San Sebastian in the D-League. Dante Peralta

THE unfamiliarity among players showed, but Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian got the job done and got past Gamboa Coffee-St. Clare.

Now coach Stevenson Tiu just hopes the revamped Revellers will play much better in the semifinals of the D-League Aspirants Cup.

Tep Siruma of the Bulacan Kuyas and Jessie Collado of the Quezon City Capitals joined the team in the final stretch of the eliminations, helping the Revellers clinch a quarterfinal berth.

Che’lu San Sebastian continued beefing up its lineup before the playoffs, getting Jeff Viernes, who played in the Thailand professional league, the Bulacan Kuyas’ Jay-R Taganas, and even Cedrick Ablaza, who played in the elimination round for also-ran Batangas-Emilio Aguinaldo College.

Tiu said they really needed to make the lineup changes for the playoffs.

“Na-feel namin na medyo kulang kami ng veterans,” said Tiu, whose team wound up in fourth place at the end of the elimination round.

Even the MPBL players are adjusting to the PBA D-League style of play which caters more to younger players since most of the teams this conference are school-based squads — Siruma, Collado, and Taganas combined for only nine points.

“School-based sila. Iba ‘yung atmosphere dito sa D-League sa MPBL. Dito, medyo takbuhan. Kailangan sumabay ako,” said Siruma, who will return to the Bulacan team following his stint with Che’Lu.

Tiu, however, is confident the new veterans will be able to adjust in time as they will be vital in their title bid as they face Akari-Adamson in the semifinals.

“Makakatulong ‘yung mga bata pero pagdating sa playoffs, ibang level na. We (veterans) need those players,” said Tiu.

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