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Altas, Knights eye semis berths

‘We have to embrace the challenge in front of us’

University of Perpetual Help System Dalta and Wangs Basketball@27 Strikers-Letran eye quick entry into the semifinals of the 2023 Philippine Basketball Association D-League Aspirants’ Cup Tuesday at the Paco Arena in Manila.

On the strength of a superior quotient, the Altas and the Knights finished the eliminations as third and fourth seeds and enjoy the luxury of a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals over the PSP Gymers and the CEU Scorpions, respectively.

Notwithstanding, Altas coach Myk Saguiguit wants his troops to treat the 2 p.m. duel as a do-or-die game.

“I don’t want the guys to be complacent because of that twice-to-beat advantage. I’m telling my players that we can’t give PSP a chance because most of them are veterans. We need to get the win on Tuesday,” Saguiguit said.

Perpetual defeated PSP, 93-82, in the eliminations.

As for the Knights, they look at the match is an opportunity to get even against the Scorpions, who dealt them a 92-85 overtime loss in the eliminations.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to bounce back. We’re ready for the Scorpions. They’re a strong team so we need to outhustle and match their energy for 40 minutes. We can’t afford to quit in the playoffs,” Letran coach Rensy Bajar said.

CEU coach Jeff Perlas admits their backs are against the wall but remained unperturbed.

“We have to embrace the challenge in front of us. It’s not going to be easy but we will be there competing and give our best against Letran,” he said.

“It’s a matter of believing that we can do something special in the quarterfinals, not to think that it’s a twice-to-beat but instead take it one game at a time. I trust my players that they will step up to the challenge, inspire each other and play together.”

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