Games Today (San Juan Arena)
2 p.m. – Jumbo Plastic vs Blackwater Sports
4 p.m. – Hog’s Breath Café vs Cagayan Valley
With only one more win needed to cement their spots in semifinal of the PBA d-League Aspirants’ Cup, third-seed Jumbo Plastic and fourth-seed Hog’s Breath Café try to get the job sooner than later when they face Blackwater Sports and Cagayan Valley respectively in a pair of interesting quarterfinal match-ups on Monday at the San Juan Arena.
“That’s our goal. We don’t want a knockout game. If that happens momentum will be on Blackwater’s side,” said Jumbo Plastic coach Joel Dualan.
The 2 p.m. encounter marks the second meeting between the two teams this conference. The Giants defeated the Elite, 79-72 in overtime in their only meeting in the eliminations.
“(Blackwater) is not a high-scoring team. So matching- up really won’t be a problem. What we’re worry about is our offense. If we make our shots, we’ll be ok,” Dualan said.
Leo Isaac, the Blackwater Sports coach, said they are ready against the Giants.
“It’s payback time. We almost had them in our first meeting until (Harold) Arboleda knocked a 3-point shot late in the game to force overtime,” Isaac said. “Our backs may be against the wall but I like our chances because our fate is in our hands.”
Jumbo Plastic and Hog’s Breath Café enjoy a twice to beat advantage over their respective rivals for finishing third and fourth in the standings at the end of the elimination round. The winners of their respective match-ups will advance to the next round against semifinalist in waiting NLEX and Big Chill.
The defending champion Road Warriors and The Superchargers clinched outright semifinal berths by finishing the eliminations in the top two spots.
Meanwhile, Hog’s Breath Cafe hopes to ride on the momentum of their stunning 84-68 romp over Big Chill at the close of the elimination round last Thursday when it collides with Cagayan Valley at 4 o’clock.
“The nice thing about this win is that we were able to make the right adjustments because in the next round, we have to be mentally focused,” said Hog’s Breath Café coach Caloy Garcia.
For an added motivation, the Razorbacks also defeated the Rising Suns, 82-78, in the eliminations.
In the hope to overcome the odds, the Rising Suns beefed-up their roster by acquiring the high-scoring Michael Juico and rugged guard Abel Galliguez.