Blackwater, Cafe France in crucial match Thursday
MANILA, Philippines – Just a conference after its incredible title romp, Blackwater Sports fights for survival against Cafe France in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Thursday at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
But just as motivated as the Elite in the 12 noon match are the Bakers, who are also going for a crucial win to complete the quarterfinal cast and avoid any tiebreak complications.
“My players are getting back to form and everybody wants to play (in the quarterfinals),” said Cafe France coach Egay Macaray.
“So I’m really hoping for a win because my boys really worked hard coming into this game.”
NLEX shoots for a share of the top spot against also-ran Derulo Accelero at 4 p.m., while eliminated teams Cebuana Lhuillier and National University-Banco de Oro tangle at 2 p.m.
More than half of the 14 teams will be eliminated with the top two reaching the semifinals outright while the next four battle it out in the quarterfinals.
The Bakers, a win ahead of the Elite at 7-4, can either complete the quarterfinal cast with a win today or get eliminated if they drop their final two assignments.
If the Bakers wound up tied with the Elite at the end of the eliminations, Blackwater holds the advantage in the tiebreak.
‘Destiny in our hands’
The Elite remain hopeful that their favored cast led by Jericho Cruz, Kevin Ferrer and Allan Mangahas will deliver.
“The good thing about it is, we control our destiny,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac.
The Road Warriors aim to join idle Big Chill on top with a 10th victory that will bolster their bid for an outright semifinal berth.
“We really have to win the next three games to assure ourselves of the top two,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez, who has been drawing big games from Garvo Lanete and Kevin Alas in recent wins. “We have to finish really good in preparation for the next round.”