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Blackwater faces Boracay cagers

Games on Monday (JCSGO Gym)
10 a.m – Boracay vs Blackwater Sports
12 n.n. – Café France vs Cagayan Valley
2 p.m. – Derulo Accelero vs Hog’s Breath Cafe

Manila, Philippines – Defending champion Blackwater Sports and three other teams desperately scrambling for playoff berths seek crucial victories Monday in the PBA DLeague Foundation Cup.

Coming off a frustrating 91-93 loss to Cagayan Valley last week, the Elite are hard pressed to bounce back against Boracay Rum in their scheduled 10 a.m. encounter at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao, Quezon City.

Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac said his troops understands the importance of their meeting with Boracay Rum but try not to be pressured by it.

The defending champions hold a 3-3 record and desperately clinging at fourth spot, just half a game behind Boracay Rum, Big Chill and Cagayan Valley (3-4).

In the other games, Café France battles Cagayan Valley at 12 noon and Derulo Accelero takes on Hog’s Breath Café at 2 p.m.

“We don’t want to be thinking of any pressure. We just want to play a good game on Monday,” Isaac said.

The top two teams after the single round eliminations earn an outright passage in the semifinals while the third and fourth seed teams advance to the quarterfinals with a twice-to-beat advantage.

A victory by the Elite would put them in contention for an outright semifinal berth but at the moment that is not their concern.

Undoubtedly, much of the heat rest on the shoulders of the Waves and Rising Suns, who are desperately in need of a win to bolster their bids for a quarterfinal berths.

Apparently displeased with his team’s effort, Boracay Rum coach Lawrence Chongson said Blackwater Sports is the least of their worries.

“We really need to rediscover our desire to win ballgames before even worrying about our opponent. If we can do that, then probably our chance will get better,” he said.

Cagayan Valley assistant coach Raymond Valenzona, however, thinks the Rising Suns have a good shot at crashing into the playoffs.

“Sa tingin ko malaki ang pagasa namin pumasok (playoffs). Huwag lang maging complacent we’ll be in the quarterfinals,” he said.

But the Rising Suns should expect tough challenge against the Bakers, who are a lot more motivated. Café France (2-4) is out to snap a four-game slump to wheel back in contention for a playoff spot.

That is not the case for Derulo Accelero. The Oilers are hoping to win a couple more games to just earn some respect.

“I believe we belong in this league,” said Derulo Accelero coach Paolo Mendoza after the Oilers snapped a six-game skid with 77-76 win at the expense of Big Chill last week.