Tile Masters, Bakers in crucial tiff

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Racal Ceramica and Cafe France face off for the share of the lead in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League Aspirants’ Cup today at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

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The Tile Masters and the Bakers, both holding identical 6-1 win-loss cards, meet at 5 p.m. with the winner joining Cignal-San Beda at the top of the standings and move closer to one of the top two spots for an automatic semifinals berth.

Coming off a win against Victoria Sports-MLQU, 75-70, Racal is expected to bank on Lervin Flores and Kent Salado, who both recorded a double-double performance for the squad.

Lervin Flores FILE PHOTO

Tile Masters Coach Jerry Codiñera warns his wards not to be complacent after the win over Victoria Sports and focus on besting Café France.

Codiñera will also rely on Sidney Onwubere, who will lead the team’s defense.

The Bakers are also coming off a 92-83 win over AMA Online Education behind the sizzling of Rey Ebondo, who erupted for 29 markers, 18 rebounds and six assists against the Titans.

In the first game, former pros Jerwin Gaco and Mark Cruz will lead Tanduay Rhum in its search for its fifth win against the eliminated Blustar Detergent at 3 p.m.

Gaco, who last played for the Star in the PBA, tallied 22 points and 11 rebounds in the Rhum Masters’ 88-66 win over Team Batangas to support Cruz’s 29-point output.

“Hopefully, Gaco will be heaven-sent for us,” said head coach Lawrence Chongson.

Tanduay also signed up former Ginebra forward Dennice Villamor and JRU’s Jaycee Asuncion in its bid for a better spot in the next round.

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