Friendship takes a backseat for Simon Enciso, fellow Fil-Ams in heated D-League series
Simon Enciso got a step ahead of his Fil-Am friends as underdog Cebuana Lhuillier draws first blood in the best-of-three semifinal battle with Cagayan Vallay. Dante Peralta

CEBUANA Lhuillier’s Simon Enciso is good friends with fellow Fil-Americans Abel Galliguez, RJ Dilay, and Alli Austria, all from Cagayan Valley.

But for this PBA D-League Aspirants Cup semifinal series, friendship takes a backseat.

“It’s funny. Me, Abel, RJ Dilay, and Alli Austria, we are all Fil-Ams here. We all hang out together,” Enciso, who goes by Twitter handle @FilipinoDRose, said chuckling. “I haven’t hanged out with them for a week so we are not friends right now.”

Enciso took first blood in the best-of-three semifinal series as his Cebuana Lhuillier beat Galliguez, Dilay, Austria, and the rest of Cagayan Valley, 89-85, in Game One on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena.

The 23-year-old guard out of Notre Dame de Namur University scored 22 points, 11 in the final quarter, to lift the Gems to the victory — four points more than Galliguez, Dilay, and Austria combined.

[See Zamar accused of threatening Cagayan player as D-League coaches clash]

Still, the 5-foot-11 Enciso said he enjoyed playing against his friends in what should be an even more intense series following Game One.

“It’s been a good battle. Going to war with my brothers, even though they are on a different team, but we have the same goals. I’m just happy that we got the victory this time,” said Enciso.

“I just had to catch my second wind. I was tired but with the belief of my coaches, and pushing me, and being there for me, they bring that extra umph out of me,” said Enciso.

Enciso said he expects the Rising Suns to come back for Game Two scheduled on Monday at The Arena in San Juan.

“We just have to be ready. They’ll come out with more physicality. Monday’s going to be a big game for us,” said Enciso.

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