ABU Tratter gets his wish of facing his former teammates as Marinerong Pilipino-TIP takes on Go for Gold in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals.
“I want to face Go for Gold, for sure. I got some ex-teammates out there that I’d like to battle against,” he said after the Engineers’ 81-72 win over CEU to claim the three-seed.
Tratter relishes the few chances he had facing off against guys like Gab Banal and Vince Tolentino – former Marinerong Pilipino players who took their act to Go for Gold this conference.
Unfortunately, both of those outings ended in defeat as the Scratchers got the better of the Engineers in their two elimination meetings.
Go for Gold edged out Marinerong Pilipino-TIP, 93-88, in their first-round meeting last June 21 and followed it up with an 86-71 blowout last Monday.
“They were more relaxed and they were more confident,” said Tratter.
But those losses just serve as a motivation, not only for Tratter but for the rest of the Engineers as they try to bury the Scratchers jinx.
“We’ll make sure we’re still going to pound them no matter how much of a veteran (side) they, are as long as we have the athletic prowess to go in there and bang in there, make sure we open up the passing lanes for our guards.
"There are veteran guards in the other team that wants to break down our guards, so we’ll make sure we’ll play defense, that’s going to be the key in our next games,” the former La Salle banger said.
That the two teams start from scratch makes it more interesting, Tratter said.
“I’m liking the opportunity. Either way, we’re not worried if we’re the lower seed because there is no seeds. It’s a battle of whoever can win the games,” he said.
“We’re just looking forward to executing and making sure our bodies are rested coming into Tuesday. We’re looking forward to breaking the spirit that they have against us.”