ome court advantage will be Palayan City's biggest advantage against defending champion San Juan when Game 2 of the Community Basketball Association Pilipinas Cup best of three title showdown is played in Gapan, Nueva Ecija on March 8.
Palayan City team manager Ryan Ripalda hopes the whole team can make the most of the presence of an adoring home crowd to repeat over San Juan and capture the national championship and the PHP1 million cash prize.
A former player himself, Ripalda believes the Capitals have all bases covered in time for Sunday's championship game at the Gapan City gymnasium.
We'll do our best to win again (in Game 2 on Sunday) and capture the championship in front of our home fans, said Ripalda during the 58th Usapang Sports by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros on Thursday.
Abot kamay na namin ito, kaya gagawin na namin ang lahat na aming makakaya para manalo (We are a win away and will do all we can to win again), added Ripalda during the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, National Press Club, Pagcor, CBA and HG Guyabano Tea Leaf Drinks.
Palayan City, which is being supported by Palayan City Mayor Adrienne Mae Cuevas and team owner Bong Cuevas, drew first blood by beating San Juan, 79 74, at the San Juan gym last weekend.
The Alvin Grey mentored Capitals controlled the tempo of the game and led by as many as 14 points before holding off the Knights' last ditch comeback.
A high point of the game was Deniel Aguirre's monster block of Arvin Gamboa that helped Palayan City preserve the victory.
'We do not want to take them (Knights) lightly dahil magagaling din sila, pero iba yung nasa home court ka. Parang sixth man yun (because they are good, but having home court advantage is something. It is like our sixth man), explained Ripalda in the same forum shown on Facebook live by Glitter Livestream.
Ripalda said Renz Alcoriza, Levi Dela Cruz, Gab Reyes, Marvin Maroga and Aguirre are again expected to lead the Capital's title aspirations.
Alcoriza came through with a game hig9 points on a respectable 7 of 11 shooting in 24 minutes of action, whole dela Cruz flirted with a triple double of 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Capitals, who made 34 of 79 attempts for 43 percent against the Knights' 27 of 72 for 37 percent.
The Capitals also has more assists (20 11), more steals (11 8) and more blocked shots (3 1) than the Knights.
Aside from Ripalda, also present during the TOPS session are International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Philippines president Rowena Walters and Philippine Karatedo League (PKL) officials, led by Sensei Allan Gonzales (President), Engr. Ecel Bono Aquino (VP for Administration) and Sensei Resty Fillarca Jr. (VP for Technical Affairs).
Source: Philippines News Agency