THE wild, wild race for the two outright semis berths continue today with four of five teams still in contention slugging it out in the 2016 MBL Open basketball tournament at the EAC Sports Center in Ermita, Manila.
Defending champion Macway Travel Club battles Emilio Aguinaldo College and Philippine Air Force meets Jamfy-Secret Spices in a pair of crucial matches that could decide their fate in this seven-team tournament sponsored by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Star Bread, Dickies Underwear and Gerry’s Grill.
With only two playing days left in the elimination round, all four teams and early favorite FEU-Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation are still in the thick of the fight for the two outright semis berths with twice-to-beat advantages.
Handled by coach Daniel Martinez, consultant Braulio Lim and manager Erick Kirong, Macway snapped a two-game losing skid and bounced back into contention following a hard-earned 100-94 win over Philippine Air Force last Nov. 12.
Macway will lean anew on former PBA mainstays Bonbon Custodio, Jeff Sanders, Larry Rodriguez and Nino Marquez, and Mark Fampulme, Floyd Dedicatoria, Pol Santiago, Harold Sta Cruz, Jiggy Laude, Totot Mangaran and Teng Reyes and American Mike Harry and Jimmy Brown.
EAC, which is being handled by coach Ariel Sison and assistant coach Bong Melocoton, will rely on Jerome Garcia, Juju Bautista, Jethro Mendoza, Jeric Diego, Rustan Bugarin, Jeanu Carlo Gano, Nelson Mendoza, Haspee Altiche, Edric Estacio, Renz Gonzales and Argel Natividad.
Air Force, which is being handled by coaches Alvin Zuniga and Jimmy Andaya and supported by PAF CG Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina, Col. Elpidio Talja and LTC Nestor Etis, split its four matches so far.
The Jet Force lost its opening match against EAC before winning over FEU-NRMF and Wang’s Ballclub.They lost to Macway last week.
The Jet Force will be bannered anew by Rama Krishna Morales, Paulino Rebollos, Darwin Cordero, Jerry Lumongsod, Roger Malig-on, Ranimark Tano, Raniel Jake Diwa, Francis Regalado, Romeo Almerol and Reymark Pinto.