Café France fanned its hopes for a top-two spot with a 93-67 win over Topstar ZC Mindanao Tuesday in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
However, that would lie if AMA Online Education can upset Racal in the final game of the eliminations, which is ongoing as of press time.
A Racal win, though, would relegate the Bakers to the third seed, where they will need two wins against fierce rival Phoenix to book a return trip to the finals.
“We’re still hoping regardless whomever we play against, we’ll prepare hard for the semis,” said Bakers assistant coach Mike Buendia, who called the shots with fellow deputy Yong Garcia for head coach Egay Macaraya, who was serving his one-game suspension.
“What a waste. We lost some crucial games but we have to live with it.”
Carl Bryan Cruz came off the bench to lead Cafe France (9-3) with 23 points and five rebounds, while Mike Parala registered a double-double with 12 markers and 10 boards.
Paul Zamar chipped in 12 points, and Joseph Manlangit had 11 markers and six rebounds.
Congolese big man Rod Ebondo skipped the game because of flu.
Cafe France shrugged off the Aguilas in the second half, pulling away 71-52 early in the fourth and would pad the lead to as high as the final 26-point margin.
“Coach said that we play within the system and follow the game plan, execute our offense, and play good defense,” said Buendia. “Luckily during the second half, we played OK.”
Topstar ZC Mindanao exited the tournament winless at 0-12.
Gino Jumao-as anchored the Aguilas with 12 points and four rebounds, while JR Cawaling got 12.