Never say die, indeed for coach Time Cone and his boys.
Bad news: Fil-Am forward Joe Devance had to be carried off the court after going down with a foot injury in the third quarter of Game 1.
"Doubtful starter," Cone told SPIN.ph. "But we're still waiting to hear definitive news."
The development means he has rely on his other forwards for frontcourt depth, to man the paint alongside Japeth Aguilar who recorded a splendid 15-point, 14-rebound line. The question is, who will be the next man up? Most likely, one of these guys:
Cone's magic bunot last year is yet to have any significant run in the playoffs, and now is the time. Mariano's versatility—scoring, rebounding, passing—is closest to what Devance offers, not to mention he fits perfectly small-ball lineups as a tweener.
The unassuming big man, who thrived as a replacement for import Justin Brownlee, could only muster a measly two points versus Alaska. Despite being undersized, his inside/outside game will be valuable even in limited minutes. Typical Jervy; always ready when called upon.
More of a guard than a forward, the former dunk champion can utilize his quickness and vertical jump against opposing forwards. More than for the highlight reel-worthy jams, Ellis must put his superior athleticism to good use on both ends of the floor, especially defensively.
Cone only has good words for the UST stalwart, after the latter subbed in for the fallen Devance and pestered Alaska's rugged frontcourt of Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel. Expect Ferrer to play more minutes as a defensive menace to Compton's wards tonight.
Of all the options, it was the bruising center who made his presence felt on the offensive end with a respectable six markers, aside from his superb effort on the glass. With such performance, it won't be surprising if Cone draws up more plays for Marcelo in the post.