PBA DL: TIP battles Black Mamba for playoff berth

Games Thursday (Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig)
1:30 p.m. – Black Mamba vs TIP
3:30 p.m. – AMA vs CEU
5:30 p.m. – iWalk vs Nailtalk-Savio

Technological Institute of the Philippines shoots for a playoff spot in the 2019 PBA D-League Foundation Cup when it battles Black Mamba Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The Engineers currently sport a 3-1 card and a win over the newcomers will assure them of a slot in the next round.

“We’re already looking ahead. Right now 3-1 kami, so I think we have one foot in the door already sa playoffs. We want to prepare for the playoffs already as early as now,” said coach Potit De Vera.

Pape Ndiaye  (L) dirves against Ronald Roy (PBA Images)
Pape Ndiaye (L) dirves against Ronald Roy (PBA Images)

Senegalese big man Papa Ndiaye, Bryan Santos, and Ivan Santos are seen to lead TIP once more just like what they did last week when they tore apart Italiano’s Homme by 35 points, 133-98.

But standing on the Engineers’ way will be a Black Mamba side that is also keen on reigning victorious.

The Energy Drink are looking to follow up their 86-82 victory over Alberei last August 5 — a win which showed the team’s character as they climbed back from 18-points down en route to their debut win.

Coach Vis Valencia, though, is aware of the challenge that comes his wards’ way in the 1:30 p.m. bout.

“They’re younger, they’re faster. We just have to match up yung energy ng TIP. They’re a young team, they’re running, so we have to prepare for that,” said the youthful bench strategist.

Valencia will once again be banking on the trio of Dahrell Caranguian, Clark Derige, and John Tayongtong.

In the other games, Centro Escolar University has its sights set in gaining pole position of Group A in when it crosses paths with AMA Online Education at 3:30 p.m., while iWalk aims for back-to-back wins as it goes up against the struggling Nailtalk-St. Dominic Savio at 5:30 p.m.