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    St. Clare, Marinerong Pilipino eye quick route to D-League semis

    Aug 4, 2022
    Johnsherick Estrada
    Johnsherick Estrada and the Saints hope to stop the Tigers in one game.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    ADALEM Construction-St. Clare and Marinerong Pilipino aim to avoid complications as they gun for semifinal spots in the 2022 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    The No. 3 seed Saints face red-hot Builders Warehouse-UST at 11 a.m., following the 9 a.m. game between the No. 4 seed Skippers and the Centro Escolar University.

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    "The way UST is playing right now, they’re on a roll so kailangang mag-prepare kami nang mabuti para sa kanila," said Adalem-St. Clare coach Jinino Manansala who will rely on the likes of NAASCU MVP Johnsherick Estrada and Joshua Fontanilla.

    Interim coach Albert Alocillo, for his part, is just elated with how the likes of Sherwin Concepcion, Nic Cabanero, and Kean Baclaan have stepped up to the plate in the Tigers' last three wins to make the late charge to the top six.

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    "Ibig sabihin kaya pala talaga namin maglaro. Siguro sa ngayon, maganda yung momentum namin and magandang motivation para sa amin ito," he said.

    Sherwin ConcepcionSherwin Concepcion and the Tigers try to get past the twice-to-beat Saints.

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    The Saints narrowly escaped the threat from the Growling Tigers, 87-86, on July 21.

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    As for Marinerong Pilipino, it gets a rare shot at redemption after suffering a shock 84-77 defeat to CEU just last Monday.

    "Lesson pa rin sa amin yun. Hindi man namin nakuha yung top two, ang mahalaga may advantage pa rin kami at di namin pwedeng sayangin yun," said coach Yong Garcia as his side ended the eliminations losing back-to-back games but will now have a complete roster led by Juan Gomez de Liano, Jollo Go, and Kemark Carino.

    For CEU, there's really nothing to lose with coach Chico Manabat unearthing gems in Jerome Santos, Franz Diaz, and Lenard Santiago in the surprise run to the top six.

    "Beyond our expectations ito. This is an opportunity for us to grow at sisiguraduhin naming di na namin ito bibitiwan," he said.

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    Johnsherick Estrada and the Saints hope to stop the Tigers in one game.
    PHOTO: PBA Images
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