Defending champion CaféFrance gained some needed momentum heading into the semifinals after thrashing winless Topstar ZC Mindanao, 93-67, yesterday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO gym in Cubao, Quezon City.
Star forward Carl Bryan Cruz came off the bench to score 23 points in 29 minutes while the Bakers gave their reserves big minutes to come away with a 9-3 record after the double-round eliminations.
CaféFrance was still in contention for a twice-to-beat advantage in the semis at presstime but its fate was hanging in the balance as it hoped for Racal to lose against AMA Online Education to secure the top seed and the playoff bonus.
Racal entered yesterday’s match with a 9-2 record, needing to beat AMA to claim the top seed in the semis and a date with No. 4 Tanduay.
If that happens, CaféFrance will fall to No. 3 and would need to beat Phoenix, which also has a 9-3 mark, twice to reach the finals for the third straight conference.
“We lost some crucial games and it affected our standings, lalo na ngayon na dikit-dikit sa standings,” said assistant Mike Buendia, who shared tactical duties with Yong Garcia after coach Egay Macaraya served a one-game suspension.
The semifinals will be held tomorrow at the Strike gym in Bacoor, Cavite.