THE wild, wild race for the two outright semis berths continues today with Colegio de San Lorenzo-V Hotel taking on Philippine Christian University and Diliman College-JPA Freight Logistics battling Philippine National Police at the PNP Sports Center in Camp Crame.
The Blue Griffins, the Dolphins and the Blue Dragons are the only remaining unbeaten teams and a victory today will boost their chances of advancing to the playoff round in this tournament organized by the MBL as part of its 18th year anniversary.
Odds are about even between the Griffins and the Dolphins, who have shown tremendous playing skills and youthful exuberance in winning all their matches so far in the event supported by Smart Sports, Starbread, Dickies Underwear, Ironcon Builders and Gerry’s Grill.
Handled by sports patron Jimi Lim and coach Boni Garcia, the Griffins leaned on African import Soulemane Chabi Yo and a hard-working local crew to subdue Emilio Aguinaldo College, MLQU-Victoria Sports and Wang’s Ballclub-Asia Tech.
Chabi Yo, the 6-6 workhorse from Republic of Benin, South Africa, proved unstoppable in the shaded area in tandem with NCRUCLAA MVP Jun Gabriel.
But the Dolphins, who are coming off two impressive victories over PNP and defending champion FEU-NRMF, are just as deadly with the ‘Dynamic Duo’ of Von Tambeling and Michael Ayonayon.
Tambeling and Ayonayon have carried the scoring load for the Dolphins, who are seeking another title under PCU president Dr. Junnifen Gauuan, ISPEAC head Dr. Martha Ijiran and the father and son tandem of Loreto and Elvis Tolentino.
The Blue Dragons of former Sen. Nikki Coseteng and businessman-sportsman Jerry Alday and coach Rensy Bajar are also eager to take their game to another level against the unpredictable Responders.
Alex Diakhite, Diliman's ‘Tower of Power’ from Gabon, will lead a balanced scoring attack for the Dragons, who are seeking their second MBL title in three years.
PNP, which is playing in its first tournament since winning the title in the UNTV Season 5 Cup last March, is gunning for its first win in three tries.
The Responders of Police Community Relations Group (PCRG) chief Gen. Gilberto Cruz, Col.Jerome Balbontin and coach Eric Samson dropped their first two assignments against PCU and MLQU-Victoria Sports.
Julius Criste, Crislyn Elopre and Cyril Santiago banner PNP’s campaign.