Marinerong Pilipino tries to force decider in D-League semis series against Cignal
Robbie Herndon and the Skippers hope to keep their finals bid alive. PBA D-League Images

MARINERONG Pilipino coach Koy Banal will need all hands on deck when the Skippers take on Cignal in Game Two of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals on Tuesday.

The match starts at 3 p.m. at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig, with the Skippers looking to forge a deciding game in the best-of-three series.

The Skippers head into the win-or-go-home tussle as the clear underdogs - contrary to what Cignal coach Boyet Fernandez claimed before the opener.

"We were just surprised to read that Cignal was the underdog in our match up. They went to the semis automatically and we went through an eye of a needle to make it," Banal told SPIN.ph in a text message. 

"But it was just a noise, we put everything behind. We cannot worry about what other people say because we do not have control over that. Instead of spending our time and energy focusing on what we do not have control, we will just focus on ourselves."

Still, Banal and his brave sailors are unperturbed.

The team recovered from a 1-4 start to make the semifinals and with their season on the line, Banal expects the Skippers led by Mark Isip, Robbie Herndon, Julian Sargent and Achie Inigo to play with a sense of urgency.

"This is the kind of time when we need to come out and play as a team, together as a family. Family members will watch each other's back, will sacrifice for the good of the family, will put his life on the line for the family," said Banal. 

"We are not expecting to play a perfect game to extend the series, we all just need to give our perfect effort and focus on the task at hand."

Flying V goes for the jugular against Centro Escolar University in the other semifinal at 5 p.m.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros