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Cebuana faces MP Hotel five

Games Today (Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig City)
12 noon – Cagayan Valley vs AMA
2 p.m. – MP Hotel vs Cebuana Lhuillier
4 p.m. – Keramix vs Livermarin

Cebuana Lhuillier and two other teams look to gain the early lead even as Cagayan Valley launches its quest to rebound from losing the finals last conference in the resumption of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup today at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Picked as one of the title favorites after acquiring Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa, Cebuana takes on the MP Hotel-Letran Warriors in the second game at 2 p.m. after Cagayan meets opening day winner AMA University in the 12 noon curtain raiser.

Keramix, which also won its maiden encounter last week, faces ATC Livermarin at 4 p.m. to wrap up the first tripleheader of the tournament.

Cebuana won its first game the hard way last Monday, having to erase a 21-point third quarter deficit to escape with an 86-85 victory over CaféFrance at the JCSGO gym in Cubao.

Tautuaa, who finished with 34 points and 13 rebounds in his first game since leaving Cagayan, hit the winning free throw with two seconds left to save the Gems from the jaws of defeat.

Despite the scary win, Gems Coach Boycie Zamar warned his team not to be complacent but instead be on the lookout since their opponents will be hard-pressed on beating them.

“We cannot relax and we cannot take any game for granted. Everyone has been saying we’re the favorites because of Tautuaa, but it’s not all about him,” Zamar said. “We lost some players too. So parang pantay lang. But we will continue to hone our game, and we’ll just prepare harder.”

While Tautuaa seems happy with his new surroundings, his former team will try begin the life minus the 6-foot-9 forward on the right track as Cagayan battles AMA.

Despite losing Tautuaa, the Rising Suns of temperamental mentor Alvin Pua remain intact and are itching to bounce back from being swept by the Hapee Toothpaste Fresh Fighters in last month’s Aspirants Cup finals.

Cagayan faces an AMA team that produced an 89-81 victory over Livermarin last Thursday, with a squad led by Fil-Am Jerramy King and former San Beda center JR Taganas.

Also eyeing a second straight win is Keramix, which rolled to an 87-60 rout of MP Hotel also last Thursday behind the backcourt duo of Jiovanni Jalanon and Jeff Viernes.

The Mixers of Coach Caloy Garcia expect a tough duel with the Guardians.