Skippers hopeful D-League resumes


    MARINERONG Pilipino coach Yong Garcia is still optimistic the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup will resume after it was suspended indefinitely since March 11.

    But the uncertainties brought about by the deadly COVID-19 make it a guessing game on when it will return to play or will be scrapped for good.

    “Based on what I’ve heard, we are still positive that the D-League will push through,” Garcia told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday. “When will it resume? That’s still a big question.”

    PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said last month the fate of the D-League will depend largely on the plans of the UAAP and NCAA.

    “Should they (school leagues) decide to scrap theirs, then the D-League would push through. But we’re also talking to the teams,” Marcial has said.

    The UAAP, usually kicking off in September, has yet to announce its plans for Season 83, while the NCAA’s July opening is no longer possible as it eyes a mid-2021 start for Season 96.

    Both leagues have terminated the remainder of their seasons last month.

    School-based teams which are part of the Aspirants’ Cup are reigning NCAA champion Wangs-Letran, Seaoil-Far Eastern University, Apex Fuel-San Sebastian College, ADG Dong-Mapua University, Diliman College, FamilyMart-Enderun, Technological Institute of the Philippines, AMA Senior High, and Karate Kid-Centro Escolar University.

    s the only squad not parading a school-based core in the 12-team field, the Skippers are the favorites in the season-opening tourney.

    Until action was halted, Marinerong Pilipino, along with school-based squads Builders Warehouse-University of Santo Tomas and EcoOil-La Salle, were sporting 2-0 records with Fil-Am forward Jamie Malonzo, University of the Philippines playmaker Juan Gomez de Liano, former pro Allan Mangahas and veteran big man Alfred Batino leading the charge.

    The Skippers are staying in shape and getting ready when the league gets going anew, according to Garcia.

    “They are all fine and doing physical exercises to keep themselves fit,” said Garcia.

    Marinerong Pilipino is bidding to win its maiden title since joining the league in 2017.