Tanduay Rhum and Team Batangas clash in a crucial game as both teams try to stay in the race for the top two spots in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League Foundation Cup today at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Holding identical 4-2 win-loss slates, the Rhum Masters and the Batangueños square off in the opener at 3 p.m. with the winner gaining the solo third spot behind Cignal HD (7-2) and unbeaten leader Flying V (7-0).
In the second game, Racal Motors (3-3) tries to move up the team standings with a win against Marinerong Pilipino (1-4) in their 5 p.m. duel.
Tanduay is fresh from a 76-point demolition of Zark’s Burger and head coach Lawrence Chongson hopes they can sustain the momentum against Batangas.
“Our main goal is to win the crown and we will not be blindsided with our record-setting victory,” said Chongson, who will bank on James Martinez, Paul Sanga and Gerwin Gaco.
Meanwhile, Batangas is keen on getting back on the winning track after absorbing a 66-70 loss to the Hawkeyes last Thursday.
Head coach Eric Gonzales braces for a tough match against the experienced Rhum Masters.
“We must come prepared,” said Gonzales, who will bank on Carlos Isit, Jerard Bautista and Jessis Saitanan.
The Alibaba are also coming off a lopsided win versus Gamboa Coffee Mix last Monday, 107-60, to score their first back-to-back wins in the tournament.
Coach Jerry Codiñera said the victory somehow changed the attitude of the players.
“It gives us a lot of positivity and we’ll build on that,” said Codiñera, who will rely on Mac Tallo, Rian Ayonayon and Roider Cabrera.
The Seafarers, meanwhile, try to end a three-game slide and will lean on Achie Iñigo and Mark Isip to get back on the winning track.
JEAN RUSSEL DAVID