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    Stakes high as Bombers, Gems close out elims

    Jan 30, 2013
    “We’ll be more comfortable playing with the pressure off our shoulders. But we’re still very motivated to win because we want to clinch that [twice-to-beat] advantage,” says JRU coach Vergel Meneses. Jerome Ascano

    JOSE Rizal University goes for a twice-to-beat quarterfinal incentive while Cebuana Lhuillier guns for a postseason berth as they clash in an all-important final day of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup elimination round at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

    The Heavy Bombers meet the Gems at 2 p.m. before semifinals-bound Blackwater Sports faces also-ran Erase XFoliant in a no-bearing game two hours later.

    All eyes, though, will be on the JRU-Cebuana match as it will determine the quarterfinal seedings of other teams.

    Currently in solo fifth place with a 5-4 win-loss card, the Bombers will grab a share of third place with Cagayan Valley and Big Chill if they beat the Gems, who are occupying seventh spot with a 4-5 mark.

    The Heavy Bombers, however, will clinch the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals along with the Rising Suns due to a superior quotient.

    A JRU victory will also send idle Fruitas (5-5) to the quarterfinals as the sixth-seeded team.

    A victory by the Gems, on the other hand, will give them the quarterfinal spot and pave the way for a three-way tie with JRU and Fruitas for fifth place. Both the Gems and the Heavy Bombers will advance to the quarterfinals under such a scenario owing to superior quotients.

    JRU head coach Vergel Meneses said the team is definitely motivated to play well against Cebuana Lhuillier with the twice-to-beat advantage at stake.

    “We’ll be more comfortable playing with the pressure off our shoulders. But we’re still very motivated to win because we want to clinch that [twice-to-beat] advantage,” Meneses said.

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    Gems coach Beaujing Acot said duplicating his team’s 102-94 win over Informatics that kept their quarterfinal hopes alive last week will not be easy especially with JRU’s recent showing.

    “It will be very tough to beat JRU because they are playing solid lately. I just hope we could build on this win (against the Icons),” Acot said.

    Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac said his wards are not treating their final elimination-round game against Erase lightly as they hope to improve their 7-2 slate and enter the semifinals on a winning note.

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    “We’ll be more comfortable playing with the pressure off our shoulders. But we’re still very motivated to win because we want to clinch that [twice-to-beat] advantage,” says JRU coach Vergel Meneses. Jerome Ascano
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