Games Monday (JCSGO GYM, Quezon City)
12 p.m. – Big Chill vs CafeFrance
2 p.m. – NLEX vs Boracay Rum
4 p.m. – Wangs Basketball vs Cagayan Valley
Big Chill and defending champion NLEX smell trouble when they deal with Café France and Boracay Rum respectively as the top two teams attempt to extend their early season success in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
Big Chill leads the 14-team field with a 5-0 record — its finest start in since joining league in 2011–
while NLEX has opened its title retention bid by winning its first two games.
Coaches of both teams, however, expect their troops to grind it out against their rivals, who are hard press to win in a desperate effort to wheel back into the top 6.
The Superchargers stake their unbeaten record against the inspired Bakers at 12 noon while the Road Warriors plunge into action at 2 p.m. against the Waves, who are out to bounce back and regain their pride after an embarrassing 30-point loss to Cagayan Valley last Tuesday.
The 4 p.m. encounter between the Rising Suns and the Wangs Basketball Couriers complete the scheduled triple-bill at the JCSGO gym is Cubao, Quezon City.
“Everybody is playing at the top of their game. But most important, we are playing as a team. I think that’s the key to our early success,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison, after their 75-56 romp of Derulo Accelero on Thursday for their fifth straight.
He said Café France promises to be a tough match-up particularly with its frontcourt.
“They’re always a difficult match up for us. So we got to be ready to play physical. Their bigs will sure be a tough challenge for us,” said Sison of Cameroonians Rodrigue Ebondo and Aristote Mutombo.
Café France, currently at 7th spot with 3-2 record, is seeking second straight after its 80-73 win against the Oilers Monday last week.
“Every game is crucial for us right now because the race to the top six spots is very close. Big Chill is playing very well. We beat them in our last two meetings so that makes them even more determined,” Macaraya said.
NLEX won first two games by an average 23 points but coach Boyet Fernadez said the Waves are a strong team and very dangerous right now because they want to make up for the ugly loss against Cagayan.
“We can’t take them for granted. Boracay is a strong team and Chris Banchero is a good player. If they get into a rhythm they will be tough to beat,” Fernandez said.