April 09, 2018

Ebondo doubtful starter as CEU and Zark's Burger-Lyceum clash

Centro Escolar University and Zark's Burger-Lyceum go on a collision course once more as they battle in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup quarterfinals Tuesday at Pasig Sports Center.

The Scorpions and the Jawbreakers delivered a classic in their elimination duel, ending with a 91-85 victory for CEU last February 20.

And if this trend continues, we might be bracing for another thriller in the 4p.m. tip-off, with the Scorpions enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage as the three-seed.

CEU's advantage could not have come at a better time as Congolese center Rod Ebondo health status remains day-to-day due to a nagging back injury.

"We are preparing for the game without Ebondo," shared coach Yong Garcia as he treats his prized big man with kid gloves when it comes to his recovery.

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The youthful mentor rued the missed chance for the Scorpions to gain the top seed that comes with the outright semis berth after suffering a shock loss to Batangas-EAC, 89-87 last Monday, relegating them to the long path starting in the quarters.

"It was really a missed opportunity for us not being able to take the number one spot. Sayang sana para we could have at least a one week rest and Rod has time to recover," he said.

But Garcia has laid down the challenge to his wards as he expects big games from Orlan Wamar, Judel Fuentes, and Joseph Manlangit.

The opposite could be said with Zark's-Lyceum as coach Topex Robinson will trot out a full-health squad in the duel.

CJ Perez and Jaycee Marcelino are expected to take the cudgels for the Jawbreakers, while Mike Nzeusseu is motivated to get back at the Scorpions after spraining his ankle in the first half of their first meeting.

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Still, Robinson knows what the situation is and quipped: "We are coming in as the underdog in this series against CEU."