D-League do-or-die semis explode today


One will make a return trip to the Finals. Another one makes its debut, while the two others will be sent packing.

It’s do-or-die Tuesday in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals as only two teams will remain standing after Tuesday at Strike Gym in Bacoor, Cavite.

Rivals Phoenix and Cafe France settle their differences once and for all, while only one from Racal and Tanduay will make history and advance to the Finals for the first time.

The Accelerators resigned to the fact that they are facing not only the defending Foundation Cup champions, but also the hands down favorites.

“Cafe France is much superior than Phoenix. It’s a blessing that we are armed with a twice-to-beat advantage but our side will try our best to put up a good fight,” said coach Eric Gonzales, as the Aspirants’ Cup titlists once again banks on Mike Tolomia, Mac Belo, and Ed Daquioag while pleading for any support from their bench.

The Bakers, meanwhile, are hoping to sustain their form after their 78-68 Game 1 victory last Thursday.

“Hopefully, we can bring the same intensity next game,” said coach Egay Macaraya, whose wards will once again be led by Rod Ebondo and Carl Bryan Cruz.

The last two D-League champions battle for one final time at 4 p.m., followed by the matchup between the Tile Masters and the Rhum Masters at 6 p.m.

Racal coach Caloy Garcia knows that the key for his team is to make the necessary adjustments after Tanduay beat it in its own game, 88-86 last Thursday.

“They surprised us by doing the same thing with the running game and they were able to build a good lead. The only lesson to be learned is we can’t relax against Tanduay,” he said.

Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson also knows the gravity of the situation and believes that it’s still going to be hard to fend off a motivated Racal crew.

“We’re up against the No.1 seed. We know they would not give in easily,” he said. “It will be survival of the fittest on Tuesday.”


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