WU, Spoilers gun for finals’ ticket
Defending champion Western Union and team Spoilers aims for a spot in the finals when they take on separate rivals, Sunday in the knock out quarterfinal round of the 2011 Filipino Basketball League (FBL) at the Palau National gym.
Finishing the elimination round with a 17-3 win-loss record and seeded no. 2 going into the quarterfinals, Western Union guns for a title retention bid when they collide with a deadly Aloha Maid Choppers at 12:30 p.m.
Missing the services of wingman Jefferson Cruz, Western Union will pin its hope in the team of Bong Alambra, Erwin Senadre, Emerson Patenia, Sonny Jacinto, Medel Cuyugan, Darwin Fuentebella and Freddie Gloria.
Aloha Maid Choppers (9-11) which barged to the quarterfinals for the first time will try to continue its Cinderella story as they will bank on the team of PJ Esguerra, Mark Lofranco, Nelson Dupalco, Noel Caparaz, Rey Potot, Lito Cruzat, Janine Carandang and Julivic Munion.
On the other hand, power house team Spoilers, which finished the elimination round also with a 17-3 record and seeded no.1 in the quarterfinals will play Surangel and Sons (8-12) in the opener at 11 a.m.
The Spoilers will be led by Michael Bombita, Aries Echanova, Leonilo Gonzales, Mark Pagayanan, Georger Bernardo, Felix Masaganda, Michael Garcia and veteran Bhoey Gopez while Surangel and Sons will bank on the squad composed of Eric Manio, Melvin Parrinas, Deloy Pingot, Ryan Tayag, Sib Reyes, Ador Hilvano and Roevic Puso.
In other games, Mam’l Divers Rangers plays the Guardians at 2 p.m. while the Slashers will battle the Ilocandia Bulls in the main game at 3:30 p.m.
Winners of the games will move on to the Final Four which is set on November 27 at the same venue.
This year’s FBL is sponsored by Aqua Drinking Water, ATT Bar and Restaurant, Blue Bay Petroleum Inc., Budget Mart 1, CTSI Logistics/Western Union, Engr. Bobby Pineda, Galaxy Dexigner, Galaxy Builders, Kabayan Restaurant, MJ Trading and General Merchandise, Palasia Hotel, Palau Royal Resort, Palau Shipping Co., PITI, Sea Passion Hotel, Shimbros Inc., The Print Zone, The Taj Restaurant, VMJ Construction and WCTC. The FBL is under the supervision of the Palau Basketball Federation. By Peter Erick L. Magbanua (Island Times News)