GO for Gold has its sights set on extending its stronghold of the top spot in the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup against Centro Escolar University on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
However, coach Charles Tiu still has his own reservations of this Scratchers crew.
“I’m still not that confident,” he admitted ahead of the 3 p.m. tiff.
A big part of that is Go for Gold’s obvious lack of chemistry, with the team banking on the players’ individual brilliance to pull through in its first two games, the last of which an 86-83 escape against AMA.
Talent has been abound for the Scratchers, with Gab Banal this time stepping up for the well-rounded group which also features veterans Jerwin Gaco and James Martinez, and up-and-comers Paul Desiderio and Vince Tolentino.
But Tiu remains wary, with the Scorpions hell-bent on bouncing back after their shock 96-90 defeat to Batangas last Monday.
“They’re going to be a tough team. Hopefully, with the few days we have to prepare, we can do better because they are a pressing team,” said the youthful mentor.
CEU coach Derrick Pumaren expects his wards to come out firing and redeem itself from the defeat, with Orlan Wamar and Cameroonian big man Gilles Oloume counted on to deliver better showings in this game.
Meanwhile, Che’lu Bar and Grill aims to capitalize on its improved chemistry when it takes on cellar-dwelling AMA Online Education.
The Revellers have put their preseason woes behind them and delivered a big 88-71 victory over Marinerong Pilipino on Monday to chalk one in the win column.
And for coach Stevenson Tiu, the longer time together really did wonders for his side.
“We’re much better compared sa first game namin. Pero I asked for the players’ commitment, lalo na sa veterans and masaya naman ako na nagre-respond sila,” he said.
Jeff Viernes’ scoring is a given, but what caught Tiu off-guard were the stellar performances from Jessie Collado and Jay-R Taganas in the Revellers’ shocker over the Skippers.
But he needs more of those to be able to replicate the feat, this time against the Titans.
Game time is at 1 p.m.
AMA, on the other hand, has been hard lucked to get any breaks, especially after its close 86-83 defeat to Go for Gold last week.
Fortunately for them, Owen Graham is slowly looking like the top pick he was billed, and coach Mark Herrera expects the Fil-Am winger to do more of those in the coming games.