PBA D-League semis series gets going
TOP seed Cafe France may be focused on its back-to-back title bid, but it also can’t wait to avenge its lone defeat to Tanduay Rhum at the start of the PBA D-League semifinals Tuesday.
Cafe France coach Egay Macaraya believes that the Bakers’ 74-79 loss to the Rhum Masters in the eliminations would be enough to fire up his crew when the two squads clash in Game 1 of the best-of-three series at 4 p.m. at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
“It will be a very good motivation for us to fight hard because they’re the only ones who beat us,” said Macaraya.
Caida Tiles and Phoenix-Far Eastern University collide in the other Final Four pairing at 2 p.m. where the Tile Masters gun for a repeat of their lopsided 108-91 win.
Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson, though, doesn’t want to use their eliminations victory over Cafe France as a confidence-booster.
“You throw those stuff out the window,” said Chongson. “Cafe France is a champion team.”
But Chongson’s crew has a penchant for upsets. The fifth-ranked Rhum Masters also overcame the twice-to-beat quarterfinal edge of No. 4 University of the Philippines-QRS/Jam Liner to advance.
Caida coach Caloy Garcia also thinks his Tile Masters, despite finishing No. 2 in the eliminations, stand on equal footing with the Accelerators.
“They’re a college team and they’ve played so long,” Garcia said of the Accelerators, who have been banking on Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia.
But Phoenix coach Eric Gonzales countered: “Talent-for-talent, they are the better team. But I hope we play with pride as UAAP champions.”