BIG CHILL breaks in its revamped lineup as it takes on Jose Rizal University at the resumption of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Superchargers take on the Heavy Bombers in the 2 p.m. match-up while Fruitas makes its league debut against Café France in the 4 p.m. second game.
Following its first runner-up finish in the Foundation Cup, the Superchargers began beefing up their roster with Far Eastern University star and UAAP Mythical Five awardee Terrence Romeo as their biggest catch.
Big Chill also picked up Ateneo’s Ryan Buenafe, FEU’s Arvie Bringas, ex-Adamson Falcon Janus Lozada and former San Sebastian Stag Jonathan Semira, among others in its bid to capture a crown this conference.
Coach Robert Sison, however, said that it is still too early to assess Big Chill's chances in the tournament.
“We are happy to sign up exciting players from the UAAP and Big Chill is definitely proud of it,” said Sison. “But it’s too early to tell. Based on my players, we have a formidable, decent lineup.”
The JRU team of coach Vergel Meneses kept its score of John Lopez, Byron Villarias and Alex Almario while adding former University of Santo Tomas cager and ex-pro Khazim Mirza and NCAA stalwarts Rocky Acidre and Prince Caperal of Arellano, Kenneth Ighalo of Mapua, and Michael Miranda and Dexter Maiquez of San Sebastian.
“They are not the same team that played in the NCAA. They have an ex-PBA player and good veteran bigs and shooters in the lineup. We don’t treat them as a collegiate team but a team that can beat any team in the league,” Sison said.
Meanwhile, the Shakers debut with 11 players as their San Beda Red Lions players such as Ola Adeogun, Kyle Pascual, and Rome Dela Rosa are still playing in the NCAA finals. But looking to step up are Carlo Lastimosa, Mike Silungan, Jolas Paguia, Gene Belleza, and Jan Colina.
Former Ateneo standout Jai Reyes will also be making a one-off stint with Fruitas in the absence of the team's players from San Beda.
Café France will be led by former Far Eastern University guard Jens Knuttel, current Tamaraw Roger Pogoy, and University of the Philippines standouts Mark Lopez and Alvin Padilla.