Game Today (Ynares Arena)
3 p.m. – Hapee vs Café France
Unless CaféFrance finds a way to take Hapee out of its comfort zone, there’s no stopping the Fresh Fighters from their impending coronation.
With a complete and well-rested crew, many expect the Fresh Fighters to beat the overmatched Bakers a third straight time and clinch the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
“The team believes there is still a lot of work to be done. But it goes without saying that they are all happy because we are finally complete,” said Hapee coach Ronnie Magsanoc suggesting his troops are going for the kill.
The Fresh Fighters, who looked like an also-ran two months ago until the San Beda Red Lion’s stars rejoined the team, can claim their second straight championship with another victory in Game Two of the best-of-three series set at 3 p.m. at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City,
The return of Troy Rosario, Baser Amer and Scottie Thompson all but diminishes Café France’s chances of pulling a reversal in this series.
The trio, who missed the semifinals to render their services for Sinag Pilinas that won the gold medal in the recent Singapore Southeast Asian Games, combined for 32 points to preserve Chris Newsome’s outstanding performance in the series opener.
Newsome scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the second half and supplied the energy as the Fresh Fighters outlasted the Bakers down the stretch for an 83-72 win even without big man Ola Adeogun.
The 6-foot-9 center hurt his leg late in the second quarter of Game 1 and did not return in the game. He remains a doubtful for Game 2.
CaféFrance kept the game close for three quarters but never really had a chance to win the opener as their go-to guys – Fil-Am Maverick Ahanmisi, Mon Abundo, Rodrigue Ebondo, Samboy de Leon and former pro Eloy Poligrates– shot a combined 13 of 46 while the team shot a woeful 35 percent (28 of 81) from the field.