PARAÑAQUE and Dasmariñas expect a tight battle for the National Basketball League finals starting on on Wednesday at the San Dionisio Gym in Parañaque City.
The Aces and the Ballers collide in a best-of-three finals series with the winner becoming the first-ever champion of the amateur league for homegrown talents.
Despite being the second-seed during the playoffs, Parañaque coach Harold Sta. Cruz believes it will still be a tough series for the Aces especially with the Ballers’ winning run all the way to the playoffs.
“‘Yung kalaban namin, ‘yung comeback nila, ‘yan ang mahirap kalaban especially with the way they play. Run and gun sila. Hanggang ngayon, pinag-iisipan pa rin namin ‘yung game plan namin,” said Sta. Cruz on Tuesday during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Tapa King Cubao Farmers.
The Ballers, the fifth-seed in the playoffs, started out the season at 1-3 but picked up successive victories including a quarterfinal victory against No. 4 Cam Sur and top-seed Bulacan in the semifinals.
But Dasmariñas coach Azlie Guro said it will still be a mountain to climb to defeat Parañaque in the finals.
“Nag-reready rin kami sa series. Isa sa mga favorites before the start of the season ‘yung Parañaque. Complete sila. They have their bigs and their guards and their experience. Hopefully, ma-counter nila ‘yung ginagawa nila. Alam namin na magandang series ito,” said Guro.
Also present in the forum were Parañaque players Noy Bermudes, JR Galit, and Mark Ollano, and Dasmariñas team captain Jeff Acain.
NBL head of operations Edward Aquino said the league is happy to to achieve the goal of discovering new talents.
“Nakita naman namin na ‘yung gusto naming mangyari, nangyari na ‘yung mga homegrown players, makapaglaro talaga ay nandito. Kami sa NBL, tuwang tuwa kami na nagawa namin ito para sa mga lugar na ‘to,” said Aquino.