UNBEATEN squads Marinerong Pilipino and Centro Escolar University dispute the number one seed in Group A in the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Monday at Paco Arena in Manila.
Favorites since the start of the tilt, both the Skippers and the Scorpions have lived up to the hype with their immaculate 5-0 records.
But only one will come out on top and unscathed in the 3:30 p.m. bout.
Coach Yong Garcia has his sights set on bagging home the top seed, which Marinerong Pilipino has not done before ever since entering the developmental league back in the 2017 Foundation Cup.
The young mentor, though, also knows the challenge that comes along in facing his former team CEU.
"Malapit na ang next round at kailangan namin lahat ng panalo para maganda momentum namin sa playoffs. Mahirap kalaban ang CEU, pero gusto namin makuha yung top seed," he said.
The Skippers definitely have experience on their side best exemplified by ex-pro Eloy Poligrates, who had a league-record 67 points in their 141-97 decimation of iWalk last August 26.
And CEU coach Derrick Pumaren acknowledges that, well aware that his young CEU squad is at a disadvantage experience-wise against Marinerong Pilipino.
That's why the onus is for Malick Diouf and the rest of the Scorpions to prevent the Skippers flaunting that edge in the clash.
"We're playing a veteran team," said Pumaren. "We have to come out, be ready, and compete with them. We just have to make sure that they will not be able to establish their experience sa amin."