Games Thursday (Ynares Arena, Pasig City)
12 nn – Bread Story-LPU vs Cagayan Valley
2 p.m. – Racal Motors vs Café France
4 p.m. – Tanduay Light vs Hapee
The Cagayan Valley Rising Suns hope to get things going while awaiting the arrival of their number one pick.
The Rising Suns used their first round pick to select US born Moala Tautuaa in last August’s draft. The 6-foot-7, US born Fil-Tongan has become the focal point of the team’s championship drive this season but he won’t be around until Nov. 16 at the latest pending the completion of his tour of duty with the Malaysian Dragons in the Asean Basketball League.
In the meantime, the Rising Suns try to win two in a row and gain a share of the early lead when it battle newcomer Bread Story-LPU in a 12 noon showdown kicking off Thursday’s triple header.
The Rising Suns open their campaign with a 94-86 win against MJM Builders last week. Michael Mabulac had a big game with 20 points and 13 rebounds and the Rising Suns will be counting on him again in their quest to stay unbeaten.
Bread Story-LPU made a good impression in its debut, leading for three quarters before poor shooting spoiled its effort in a 74-79 loss to leader Jumbo Plastic (2-0).
Three other teams – Café France, Tanduay Light and Hapee – expected to figure prominently for playoff spots are also playing Thursday for share of the lead.
The Bakers opened their season with an 86-59 blowout win against newcomer MP Hotel on opening day and hope to keep the momentum in their 2 o’clock encounter against another newcomer, Racal Motors.
Café France coach Egay Macaraya wasn’t impressed, though. “Hindi pa ako tiwala sa team ko. (MP) is still feeling its way in the league so expectedly they struggled. I think the test for us is when we face the elite teams,” Macaraya noted.
Racal Motors lost its opener, 70-89, against the Cebuana Lhuilier Gems and would need to play solid to have a chance against the Bakers.
In the aftermath of their tug-of-war for right to acquire rookie Chris Newsome, the 4 p.m. match-up between Tanduay Light and Hapee promises a playoff atmosphere.