Eyeing to secure a quarterfinals spot, Cafe France stakes its four-game winning run against AMA Online Education today in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
At 5-1, the Bakers want nothing but to formalize their entry to the playoffs and give themselves a chance for that elusive top two spots which come with an automatic semis berth.
And for coach Egay Macaraya, he’s hopeful that his boys, led by Paul Desiderio, Michael Calisaan, and Rod Ebondo, are motivated despite the 11-day layoff as Cafe France seeks to limit the high-scoring Titans duo of Jeron Teng and Juami Tiongson.
“Nag-focus kami sa individual defense. Kailangan naming mabantayan yung scorers nila,” he said.
AMA, meanwhile, is aching to bounce back from its shock 98-93 loss to Wangs Basketball last Monday as it dropped to a precarious 5-3 card.
“We lacked the energy and it’s definitely a learning experience for us. Sayang, but we’ll be better for our next game,” said Teng.
A win for the Titans on their final eliminations assignment could also secure them a quarterfinal seat, but a loss would put them in danger of falling to the fifth and six-seeds, or worse, out of the playoffs.
Tip off is at 5 p.m., following the 3 p.m. duel between Batangas and Tanduay.
The Batanguenos are leaning on their back-to-back victories, with the most recent being their 92-68 rout of Blustar last Tuesday, as they kept themselves in the hunt of a playoff spot with their 3-4 slate.
Though coach Eric Gonzales isn’t really setting the bar high for his wards, he’s elated with what he’s seeing and is hopeful that Batangas can sustain its good showing when it tackles the Rhum Masters.
“Hopefully, when we face Tanduay, we can maintain the same mindset: Enjoy the game and play basic basketball. Again, we’re haply with what we have right now, and we’re trying to improve on it and also build on it,” he said.
Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson, meanwhile, has hinted on changes in his camp as he guns to arrest his side’s two-game losing slump and rise from its 3-3 record.
But he isn’t losing sleep, though, as the veteran coach remains positive that the Rhum Masters can get their act together in time for the post-season.
“We’re not taking our next opponents lightly. Hopefully, we can build some momentum and chemistry in our three games,” he said.