Tanduay and Cafe France renew their rivalry as the two cross paths for the first time in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup today at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Coach Lawrence Chongson is hopeful that lightning would strike twice as the Rhum Masters once again gun to deal the Bakers their first defeat in the tournament.
“Kami lang ang tumalo sa kanila sa eliminations last conference. Baka lang maulit namin ‘yun,” he said.
Tanduay ended Cafe France’s five-game run to start the Aspirants’ Cup, but the Bakers gained a measure of retribution in the semifinals as they swept the Rhum Masters in two games.
Chongson knows that it would take a lot from his wards to pull off the big win against the defending champions.
“In the past, ‘pag kalaban namin ang mga heavyweights, we always falter in the end. What is there to feel optimistic this time? Ang hawak ko lang siguro dito, ‘yung tiyaga, sikap, at yung pursigi ng mga bata,” he said.
Cafe France coach Egay Macaraya, meanwhile, is just looking forward in this duel between surefire contenders this conference.
“Pareho namang team-to-beat ‘yung mga hawak namin. Ang importante lang kung sino ang makakapag-adjust ng maayos sa game,” he said.
Both the Bakers and the Rhum Masters are coming off blowout wins against Blustar Detergent, and the two teams are seeking to continue their groove when they clash at 4 p.m.
Phoenix, on the other hand, takes a crack at the still winless Dragons in the curtain raiser at 2 p.m., as coach Eric Gonzales seeks to parade Mac Belo and Roger Pogoy anew in this clash against the Malaysians.