Racal, Tanduay shoot for championship berths | Inquirer Sports
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Racal, Tanduay shoot for championship berths

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 02:17 AM March 23, 2017

RACAL VS CAFE FRANCE_1360 Sydney Onwubere

Its confidence boosted by a pulsating victory two days ago, Racal shoots for a first finals appearance in the PBA D-League when it clashes with Cafe France on Thursday in Game 2 of the Aspirants’ Cup semifinals at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

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The Tile Masters hope to end their long wait for a championship berth against a Cafe France squad raring to avenge its narrow loss in Game 1 last Tuesday.

Tanduay also seeks to nail a finals berth against top seed Cignal-San Beda in Game 2 of their own series at 3 p.m.

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With their veterans coming up with noteworthy outings in the series opener, the Rhum Masters stunned the Hawkeyes, 66-55, to also snap an eight-game winning streak by the No. 1 seed.

Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson is bracing for a strong response from the Hawkeyes, who got off to a flat start in Game 1 and really never found their rhythm against the Rhum Masters’ smothering defense.

“We know Cignal will come out with adjustments,” said Chongson. “At this stage, it’s a bar-room brawl and only the strong will survive.”

Chongson was happy to see ex-pros Jerwin Gaco and Mark Cruz rise to the occasion in Game 1.

Cignal coach Boyet Fernandez remained positive for Game 2 even after watching his team miss all its 17 attempts from beyond the arc in the series opener.

“I just told them that it’s not yet over,” said Fernandez.

Sidney Onwubere buried a triple as time expired to lift Racal to an 88-86 win in the series opener and also put to waste Bakers center Rod Ebondo’s 30-point explosion.

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But Racal coach Jerry Codiñera knows closing out the Bakers, one of only four clubs to win a D-League title, won’t be a cakewalk.

“The name of the game is we have to be patient,” said Codiñera. “Anything can happen, anything is possible. We expected a down-the-wire affair in Game 1 and we expect nothing less from that in Game 2.”

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TAGS: PBA D-League, Racal, Tanduay
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