After scoring huge blowouts in their respective debuts, contenders Cafe France and Racal face off in what could be the first marquee matchup of the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday.
Coming off an 89-64 domination of Topstar ZC Mindanao last Thursday, the Bakers are wary of the threat that comes from the Tile Masters, a team which coach Egay Macaraya brands as their kontrapelo.
“Nahihirapan kami sa kanila kasi maliliit ‘yung four and five guys nila at doon kami nag-struggle,” he said, as he hopes to draw more contribution from Jam Cortez to assist Congolese big man Rod Ebondo.
However, the frontcourt guys are not the only ones Macaraya should be worried about.
Racal coach Caloy Garcia has instilled to his players to perform at the highest intensity every game after last conference’s underwhelming semifinals exit.
“Nasayangan kami sa nangyari last conference,” he said, after waylaying Tanduay, 100-67 on Tuesday. “When we play top teams, we have to bring same intensity every game.”
Game time is at 4 p.m. at JCSGO Gym in Cubao, following the 2 p.m. duel between Aspirants’ Cup champ Phoenix and Topstar ZC Mindanao.
Though obviously the favorite, Accelerators coach Eric Gonzales doesn’t want his wards to feel overconfident ahead of their matchup against the Aguilas.
“I know my guys are playing confident, but what we have to do is to respect the opponent, whoever they are,” he said.
JCSGO Gym, Cubao
2 p.m. Topstar ZC Mindanao vs Phoenix
4 p.m. Cafe France vs Racal