Iloilo kicks-off MPBL playoffs against Basilan

The Iloilo United Royals will have to lean on each other as they enter the playoffs (MPBL FB)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Before beginning the season, coach Eric Gonzales promised that his team would have no quit in them. That promise has turned into the battle cry of the Iloilo United Royals the entire season.

Showing heart and hustle every game, the boys in blue invaded the MPBL with a bang, surprising everyone by being the best expansion team in the league.

Iloilo’s identity as an overachieving team will be put to the test now that they enter the playoffs where the stakes are higher and the stage bigger.

Seeded at number six, the Iloilo based squad will be up against the tough Basilan Steel Jumbo Plastic who is ranked at number three.

Iloilo will try to avenge their heartbreaking loss to Basilan during their regular-season matchup as they suffered a four-minute scoring drought throwing away their 11-point cushion.

Aaron Jeruta will look to contain the shifty and quick Irven Palencia who went on a scoring frenzy during their last matchup.

Iloilo will once again rely on the outside shooting of Al Francis Tamsi who has been lights out the past 5 games.

The contrast in play-style will also be a key factor in the series.

Will Iloilo remain running and gunning or will they start off with their fluid ball movement?

If this season has taught us anything about the Royals, it’s that they always play as a team.

Both teams will see action today for their quarterfinals game 1, 6:30 PM.