Compelling D-League twinbill todayBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
FOUR teams in the thick of the chase for quarterfinal berths seek crucial wins on the penultimate day of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup eliminations today at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Big Chill, which has a shot at the twice-to-beat quarterfinal bonus, takes on Café France at 2 p.m., while streaking Boracay Rum battles Fruitas at 4.
“Survival is the name of the game from this point on and the players know that,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison.
Only three quarterfinal slots remain after Cagayan Valley took the first berth last week with a 6-4 slate which comes with a twice-to-beat bonus.
Big Chill shares fourth spot with idle Jose Rizal University at 5-4, while Boracay Rum, Fruitas, Café France and Cebuana Lhuillier are locked in a four-way logjam at 4-5.
Ahead of the six teams fighting for survival are three-time champion NLEX (9-1) and Blackwater Sports (7-2) which clinched the top two spots to earn outright stints in the semifinals.
“This will be a good test of our character,” said Boracay Rum coach Lawrence Chongson, whose Waves impressively stayed in contention by stringing up four straight wins after a 0-5 start.
“Nobody gave us a chance to make the quarters after we lost our first five games. But we stayed together and kept believing. We’ll see if we can get the job done.”
With Roider Cabrera coming through the clutch, the Waves downed the Bakers, 62-58, for a fourth straight win that kept their quarterfinal hopes alive.
But while the Waves turned their campaign around, Sison’s Superchargers skidded with back-to-back setbacks against Cagayan Valley (77-59) and erstwhile winless Informatics (94-87) to drop out of the outright semifinal race.