(The Arena, San Juan)
2 p.m. – CafeFrance vs Mindanao Aguilas
4 p.m. – Phoenix vs Wangs Basketball
Preseason favorite Caida lived up to its billing as it opened its PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on high note, dispatching Tanduay Rhum 90-79 in the tournament curtain raiser yesterday at The Arena in San Juan.
Jiovanni Jalalon was once again on the forefront of the Tile Masters’ attack as he scored 17 points, dished out nine assists and had five rebounds in another masterful performance while manning the point guard position.
He was just as effective in the final quarter as he made the big plays, effectively finding shooters Janus Lozada and Roider Cabrera on consecutive occasions to give the Tile Masters some breathing space, 76-68, with less than four minutes left in the game.
That proved to be the backbreaker as the Tile Masters meticulously took care of the lead to notch its first victory in the tournament.
“It’s nice to win the first game, I think everyone’s still adjusting with the calls kasi nasanay nila na medyo physical, I think we still have to work on our defense,” said Caida coach Caloy Garcia.
“It’s a wide open race. Personally I like our chances but at the same time, everyone has a shot at winning this,” he added.
Chris Javier was just as effective as he feasted on Jalalon’s pinpoint playmaking, finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds. Billy Ray Robles added 14 points and six boards off the bench.
Top draft pick Jason Perkins had a relatively quiet night offensively as he finished with just six points on four shots but grabbed nine boards.
CAIDA 90 – Jalalon 17, Javier 16, Robles 14, Cabrera 9, Terso 7, Maiquez 6, Perkins 6, Lozada 4, Ruaya 4, Grey 3, Gabawan 2, Pasculado 2.
TANDUAY 79 – Wetherell 21, Eriobu 11, Llagas 11, Celda 9, Lingganay 8, Pessumal 6, Gotladera 4, Javillonar 3, Tagarda 3, Santos 2, Cenal 1, Belencion 0.