The Flying V Thunder did not show any rookie jitters in their first foray in the PBA D-League, making a complete 10-game sweep of the Foundation Cup elimination round.
“I think this is a special team,” said team manager Joey Guillermo.
But as they say, the playoffs are a different beast.
In a get-together with the Flying V brass held at Gino’s Brick-Oven Pizza in Podium on Wednesday afternoon, it was admitted that the team is wary of the challenge that the Rodrigue Ebondo-anchored Centro Escolar Scorpions will provide come the best-of-three semifinals that begins on Thursday, August 9.
“I’m very much elated that sa maiden performance nila, at least, 10-0 sila. I was told that’s only the fourth time in history, with that I’m very proud,” shared team owner Chito Villavicencio. “I’m sure na kaya nakuha yan, basically magagaling yung players, but they also practiced for it, worked for it, and were determined.
“Still, we shouldn’t be too confident.”
To combat this, the Jeron Teng-led Thunder went back to basics during the one week-break the team had.
“Actually, sa team namin, kinalimutan namin yung 10-0. Back to square one kami.
“Focus lang talaga namin is what’s in front of us. We’ll take it one game at a time and we’ll see from there,” said head coach Eric Altamirano.
“CEU is also a team to beat. They’ve been there lots of times. (Rod) Ebondo has been in D-League for so long, he has been in finals. Yung core, although school-based, they’re very experienced,” admitted Altamirano, as the core of the Scorpions formed the Café France Bakers.
And if the Thunder enter the semifinals complacent, all of the hard work the team have put in since the 2017 Filoil Flying Premier Cup will come to nothing.
“Ang bola, bilog, we can never tell. ‘Pag nadisgrasya tayo, very disheartening, 10-0 tayo tapos mawawala ka,” said Villavicencio.
“[Still] I’m very confident talking to them na kaya namin yun. Iba ‘tong team na ‘to.”