PBA: Duremdes retires on the day Tigers, Aces fight for playoff berth
A brief ceremony will be held before the 7:30 p.m. main game at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, with Duremdes hoping former Powerade Board Governor JB Baylon the one to hand him out his framed jersey.
The Koronadal City born Duremdes, more popularly known as 'Captain Marbel', played his best years for Alaska where he helped the Aces win four championships from 1998-2003. He was the league's Most Valuable Player in 1998.
He played for Powerade in 2007 and was appointed head coach in 2008. Duremdes compiled a 14-21 (win-loss) record in two seasons, before being elevated as the Tigers' alternate governor to the league board.
Now he tries to savor watching his former teams clash for the mid-season tournament's remaining playoff berth.
The Tigers are a half-a-game ahead of the Aces at 4-3, and face the B-MEG Llamados for their final outing on Sunday. Powerade is also coming off a huge 121-92 rout of Air21, while Alaska is fresh from a 90-75 loss to the Llamados.
This will be Alaska's (4-4) final elimination round game.
"We can’t be distracted with so many possibilities when we win or when we lose," said Perasol. "We just want to focus on getting a crucial win. We will definitely be undersized as compared to them (Aces), but we will find a way."
A loss may be more crucial for the Aces, who may end up with the same record along with the rejuvenated Rain or Shine, Meralco and Petron—three teams still in playoff contention.
Meralco (3-5) fights for dear life in the 5:15 p.m. first game against Air21. The Express are just a notch above at 3-4 and need to sweep their last two outings to avoid any complications of advancing to the next round.
"Our survival instincts will again be tested. We will keep on fighting until it is over. There is still a small window of opportunityfor us to make the playoffs, and that small window depends on our victory against Air21," said coach Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio, whose Bolts lost to Barako Bull in Lanao del Norte last week. — JVP, GMA News