LIVER Marin is looking for a modest finish in its debut stint in the PBA D-League.
Head coach Rodney Santos said a quarterfinal berth in the Foundation Cup which starts on Thursday will already be an achievement for the franchise owned by ATC Healthcare Corporation.
Qualifying for the quarterfinals meant getting into the top six of the season-ending meet after the elimination round - a feat which the former PBA player feels is achievable.
“Honestly, I want to make the top six,” said Santos during the formal launch of the newest D-League team on Tuesday. “Masaya na ako doon. As a new team, malaking achievement na ‘yun. We will just compete para hindi nakakahiya.”
Liver Marin opens its campaign right on opening day against AMA University at the Ynares Sports Arena, which Santos hopes to win right away.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, ibigay niyo na sa akin ‘yung opening game,” said the former PBA player.
Liver Marin will have a school-based tie-up with San Sebastian and will therefiore have the services of Bradwyn Guinto, Jamil Ortouste, Jerick Fabian, Michael Calisaan, Jeff Santos, and Ryan Costelo.
Santos hopes the D-League stint will boost the Stags’ campaign in Season 91 of the NCAA.
“Maganda na makuha nila ‘yung kumpiyansa especially school-based kami. Some of them are 19 years old and lalaban sila sa mas seasoned,” said Santos, himself a former San Sebastian star.
Also part of Liver Marin's lineup are former Stags Leo Devera, Bobby Balucanag, and Jovit Dela Cruz, Choi Ignacio, Jansen Rios, Joseph Ambohot, Moy Abad, and Jhygrus Laude.
“Problema ko lang ‘yung camaraderie and familiarity dahil may mga players din na galing sa ibang teams at ibang schools. Technically, two weeks lang kami nag-practice,” admitted Santos.
Joining Santos in the coaching staff are his former Ginebra teammates Bal David, Banjo Calpito, Ronald Magtulis, and Junel Mendiola.
Team managers are Albert Esposo and Matthew Manotoc.