Games Thursday (Ynares Arena, Pasig City)
12 nn –Tanduay Light vs Bread Story-LPU
2 p.m. –Café France vs Jumbo Plastic
4 p.m. – Cebuana Lhuillier vs Cagayan Valley
The CaféFrance Bakers will surely get the kind of challenge their coach would like them to have when they face the Jumbo Plastic Giants on Thursday in a match-up of unbeaten teams in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
The Bakers opened their campaign with easy victories against newcomers MP Hotel and Racal Motors. But while he is pleased with the results, Café France coach Egay Macaraya can’t wait to see how his troops would hold up against elite teams.
“Hindi pa ako bilib sa team ko. The acid test for my team comes when play against elite teams because that will validate our ability as contender,” Macaraya said.
The moment of truth for the Bakers comes off at 2 o’clock against a team that also has heightened expectations this season. The winner will join idle Hapee (3-0) on top of the leaderboard.
The Giants made the semifinals of last season’s Foundation Cup and Coach Stevenson Tiu expects the team to advance to the finals this time with an overhauled roster.
Jumbo Plastic kicked off its season with a 79-74 victory against newcomer Bread Story-LPU, 79-74 before beating Cebuana Lhuillier in a tightly fought match, 63-61, last week.
The Gems (1-1) try to avoid losing two straight games when it battles the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns, who are also looking to stay unbeaten in three starts to stay in company of the leaders. Game time is 4 p.m.
The Rising Suns won their first two games against MJM Builders and Bread Story-LPU without top pick Moala Tautuaa, who is about to wind up his tour of duty with the Malaysian Dragons in the ABL. The 6-7 Fil-Tongan will miss his third straight game and his absence could make a difference against the Gems, who are eager to bounce back.
Completing today’s triple bill is the 12 noon showdown between Tanduay Light and Bread Story-LPU. The Rhum Masters (1-1) are aiming to get back on track after their 73-53 blowout loss against idle leader Hapee last week.