Heavy 3-game bill fires off PBA D-League tilt
MANILA, Philippines — Fielding a virtually intact lineup, Cafe France tangles with Derulo Accelero Monday to kick off its bid in the 2014 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Bakers, who narrowly missed a quarterfinal stint last conference, and the retooled Oilers clash at 10 a.m.
“Hopefully, the boys have learned to believe that we are capable of winning,” said Cafe France coach Egay Macaraya. A new-look Cagayan Valley tackles Boracay Rum at 12 noon, while a Jumbo Plastic squad that also tinkered with its roster goes up against Cebuana Lhuillier at 2 p.m.
The Bakers lost top scorer Josan Nimes but tapped the similarly hot-shooting guard Rocky Acidre to take over.
Nimes decided to focus on Mapua’s summer preparation for the NCAA.
Cagayan Valley picked up eight new players, mostly from the disbanded Zambales M-Builders, and retained Jessie Collado, Mark Bringas, John Foronda, Jason Melano and Kenneth Ighalo.
Boracay Rum, bannered by Fil-Italian guard Chris Banchero, also signed up former National University playmaker Robin Roño and Arellano center Prince Caperal.
“We got some changes in our lineup that I believe have made us better,” said Boracay Rum coach Lawrence Chongson.
Jumbo Plastic, which blew its twice-to-beat quarterfinal edge against Blackwater last conference, hopes to come out stronger with recruits Jeff Viernes, Denice Villamor, Michael Parala and Jerick Cañada, the former Adamson guard who had a stint with the Indonesia Warriors in the Asean Basketball League.
“We’ll see how our acquisitions will blend,” said Jumbo assistant coach Joel Dualan.
The Oilers, meanwhile, beefed up their lineup with veterans Gryann Mendoza, Mark Acosta and Michael Juico.