Cafe France and Tanduay renew their rivalry when two of the longest tenured teams square off on Monday in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
It will be almost an entire new squad for coach Egay Macaraya, as he hopes he has integrated new recruits Paul Desiderio and Michael Calisaan to his battle-tested Bakers.
“This is a very interesting game for us. It’s youth versus experience but as I’ve always said, we will give them a good fight and just hope for a positive result,” said the champion coach.
Despite the changes in Cafe France, Rod Ebondo remains as a rock for the crew this conference.
And that fact isn’t lost on Tanduay, as coach Lawrence Chongson focuses on limiting the Congolese big man.
“Ebondo will be the biggest thorn for us to hurdle. It’s an early test for us to face against a perennial D-League contender in Cafe France,” he said.
Chongson, though, remains confident with his team at hand, with Mark Cruz leading the charge for the Rhum Masters.
“We’ll just have to rely on our own team build-up and the process that we undertook these past 50 days. Hopefully, we’ll just continue to grow as a team as the long season rolls along,” he said.
Game time is at 5 p.m., following the tiff between Racal Ceramica and guest team Blustar Detergent at 3 p.m.
New Tile Masters mentor Jerry Codinera refuses to feel overconfident in his season opener as they go up against an upstart Dragons side comprised of the Malaysian youth team.
“We will play conservatively against them,” he said.