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Cagayan, Hapee stake clean slates

Games Monday Ynares Arena (Pasig City)
12 nn – Bread Story-LPU vs Cebuana Lhuillier
2 p.m. – Café France vs Hapee
4 p.m. – Cagayan Valley vs Jumbo Plastic

Hapee and Cagayan Valley will have the same agenda on Monday as the only two unbeaten teams face Café France and Jumbo Plastic, respectively, in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.

The well-rested Fresh Fighters test the mettle of the Bakers at 2 o’clock while the Rising Suns, still in high spirits after their record 120-77 blowout win against MP Hotel last Thursday, battle the undermanned Giants at 4 p.m. in a pair of interesting matchups.

Hapee and Cagayan Valley are off to a 5-0 start and look to extend their winning streaks to maintain their top spots and bolster their bid for an outright semifinal berth.

Notwithstanding their dominant start, Hapee coach Ronnie Magsanoc maintains the Fresh Fighters, who are coming off a two-week break, are still a work in progress.

“We are still trying to improve our team chemistry. We still have a lot of work to put in to get us to the next level. Hopefully, we’ll get to our desired destination as we continue to improve,” said Magsanoc, anticipating a tough match-up against Café France [4-1].

“We have to be ready [for the Bakers]. They are well coached and a very good defensive team.”

The Rising Suns, on the other hand, are expected dominate the struggling Giants [5-2], who are coping with the injuries to frontliners Jan Colina and McLean Sabelina and the loss of guards Janus Lozada and Brian Heruela.

In their latest victory, seven players scored in double figures for the Rising Suns, who registered a league record with their 44-poin victory against the Warriors.

“Coach has been pushing us to work hard. If we continue playing this way the wins will keep on coming,” said Randy Dilay, who sparked Cagayan Valley’s breakaway in the second quarter by hitting 3 straight 3-pointers.

In the other game, Cebuana Lhuillier (3-3) seek a second straight win and fourth in seven games against Bread Story-LPU (2-4) to enhance its chances to advance to the quarterfinals.