Banal tempers expectations on Marinerong Pilipino
(philstar.com) - January 24, 2018 - 5:25pm
MANILA, Philippines — Coming out on top in an early clash of potential title contenders isn’t enough reason for Marinerong Pilipino coach Koy Banal to feel confident.
 
“On paper, medyo formidable kami, but it’s just one thing,” Banal insisted after his Skippers’ 94-92 squeaker over Zark’s Burger-Lycem on opening day.
 
“Besides, it’s still too early yet for anyone to be considered a championship-caliber squad.”
 
His concern at the moment is how the players will jell on the floor.
 
“Yan ang importante para sa amin,” he said.
 
So Banal will have his eyes glued when Marinerong Pilipino collide against Akari-Adamason on Thursday in the 2018 PBA D-Legue Aspirants Cup.
 
Tip-off is at 5 p.m. at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
 
In other other games, Jose Rizal University battles Mila’s Lechon at 1 p.m. while Zark’s Burger-Lyceum (1-1) also seeks its second straight win against AMA Online Education at 3 p.m.
 
“We need to get better everyday, to continue working and improving because I’m sure, everybody will prepare for us now,” he said.
 
Banal is looking to get more from stalwarts Alvin Pasaol and Abu Tratter, who played limited minutes in the opener.
 
Much of the load though rest on the shoulders of Renzo Subido, Gab Banal, and Rian Ayonayon, who had a solid performance against the Jawbreakers.
 
On the other hand, Falcons coach Franz Pumaren is looking forward to a fruitful campaign and hopes his chargers will improve a lot with the experience they are about to learn in the developmental league.
 
“We have tempered expectations because we joined the D-League to gain exposure and experience for the team, especially for our rookies,” he said.
 
Jerrick Ahanmisi, the younger brother of Rain or Shine guard Maverick, will carry the torch for Akari-Adamson together with teammates Sean Manganti and Cameroonian big man Papi Sarr.

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