Iloilo United Royals seek to bounce back vs Pampanga

The Iloilo United Royals are raring to go back on the hardwood against Pampanga as their two-week break comes to a close. (Leobert Julian A. de la Peña)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

After losing a heartbreaker in front of their Ilonggo fans, the Iloilo United Royals will look to shake off the disappointing loss and will try to recover against the powerhouse Pampanga Giant Lanterns as they face each other today, at 6:30 p.m.

After a two-week break, the Iloilo squad will try to redeem themselves in the MPBL Lakan Cup after their promising mid-season run, winning three games in a row and upsetting top tier teams such as Manila and Valenzuela.

The MPBL’s best expansion team (so far) will try to do it with the absence of their star-scorer, Samboy De Leon.

De Leon was absorbed by PBA team TNT Katropa, leaving the Royals to finish the season without his services.

Coach Eric Gonzales of Iloilo will try to figure things out to get his squad going, and will be tested by Pampanga.

Pampanga, currently the fourth-seed in the North Division, is looking to win their second straight game and will be led by their quick and shifty point guard in Mark Cruz.

Iloilo’s discipline on defense will be tested by Pampanga’s versatile offense.

Both teams’ benches will be a crucial factor in the game, expect both coaches to shuffle their lineup in the hopes of finding that spark from the bench.