TECHNOLOGICAL Institute of the Philippines shoots for a playoff spot in the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup when it battles Black Mamba on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Engineers enter the match with a 3-1 win-loss card and a win over the newcomers will assure them of a slot in the next round.
"We're already looking ahead. Right now 3-1 kami, so I think we have one foot in the door already sa playoffs. We want to prepare for the playoffs already as early as now," said coach Potit De Vera.
Senegalese big man Papa Ndiaye, Bryan Santos and Ivan Santos are expected to lead TIP again after towing the Engineers to a rout of Italiano's Homme last week.
The Energy Drink, on the other hand, are looking to follow up their huge come-from-behind victory over Alberei on August 5.
Coach Vis Valencia, though, is aware of the challenge that comes his wards' way in the 1:30 p.m. bout.
"They're younger, they're faster. We just have to match up yung energy ng TIP. They're a young team, they're running, so we have to prepare for that," said the youthful bench strategist.
Valencia will once again be banking on Dahrell Caranguian, Clark Derige and John Tayongtong.
Centro Escolar University looks to take top spot in Group A when it crosses paths with AMA Online Education at 3:30 p.m., while iWalk aims for back-to-back wins as it goes up against the struggling Nailtalk-St. Dominic Savio at 5:30 p.m.