April 18, 2018

Revellers shoot for finals berth

Fresh from pulling off a stunner, Che'Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian is aiming for the haymaker when it takes on Akari-Adamson in Game 2 of their 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup semifinals on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Shocking the Falcons with a 70-60 Game 1 victory on Tuesday, the Revellers want to formally topple the top seed and advance to the best-of-three Finals with another victory in the 2 p.m. game.

Coach Stevenson Tiu made it clear that he won't bat an eyelash going to his veterans once again as he looks at Jeff Viernes, Cedrick Ablaza, and Samboy de Leon to deliver the goods for Che'Lu-San Sebastian.

"Sa mga ganitong level, yung mga beterano naman talaga ang dapat nating asahan," he said.

Maturity was on the side of the Revellers in Game 1, humbling their young foes and shutting them down on the defensive end to force the usually high-scoring Falcons to just a 2-of-15 clip from downtown.

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But Tiu warned his wards to not be complacent as he expects another tough battle come Game 2.

"Gusto nilang ibaba yung tempo namin. We like to start strong, start fast, and start aggressive, pero noong nag-zone sila, bumaba ang energy namin. Dapat kami ang mag-initiate sa tempo ng laro," he said.

Akari-Adamson coach Franz Pumaren, meanwhile, brushed off the defeat and hopes that this loss spurs his wards to perform better on Thursday.

"I think that my players really played terrible and inconsistent the whole game," he said.

Pumaren also didn't want to blame the off-game to the Falcons' 12-day break, saying: "We're a little bit sluggish, a little bit rusty. But of course, that's not an excuse."

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"Bottomline is we just have to be more consistent with our game."

Jerrick Ahanmisi, Jonathan Espeleta, and Papi Sarr are expected to churn out better numbers as Akari-Adamson aims to force a do-or-die Game 3.