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    Blackwater fights for dear life against Cafe France in crucial D-League tiff

    Jan 22, 2014
    Coach Leo Isaac and the Elite, champions the previous conference, try to avoid an early exit in the season opening Aspirants Cup. Jerome Ascano

    BLACKWATER Sports fight for dear life on Thursday when it battles fellow quarterfinal-seeking Café France in a crucial PBA D-League Aspirants Cup match at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.

    The Elite face the Bakers at 12 p.m. in a game that will likely determine whether the two teams will make it to the next round or not.

    Café France is currently at sixth place with a 7-4 win-loss card, one game ahead of Blackwater Sports at 6-5.

    Under tournament format, the top two teams at the end of the eliminations will make the semifinals outright, with the third to sixth place squads battling each other out in the quarterfinal round.

    Blackwater Sports knows the match is a must-win for the team as a loss meant an early exit for the reigning Foundation Cup champions.

    A victory by the Elite however, will force a tie with Cafe France for sixth place with Blackwater Sports holding the winner-over-the-other advantage over the Bakers should both teams end up tied in sixth place.

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    The Elite remain in good spirits despite a two-game losing skid including a heartbreaker against Hog’s Breath Café on Tuesday where they failed to make a field goal in the final six minutes of the game that led to their 83-93 defeat.

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    Blackwater Sports also lost to NLEX, 86-103, last week despite entering the fourth period with a five-point lead.

    “The good thing is that we still control our destiny,” said Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac.

    Café France is just as confident going to the all-important game after winning four of its last five outings.

    “My players are getting back to form and everybody wants to play in the next round,” said Café France coach Egay Macaraya.

    In other scheduled games, NLEX goes for a share of the lead in the team standings when the Road Warriors face struggling Derulo Accelero in the final match of a tripleheader at 4 p.m.

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    The Road Warriors are looking to improve their 9-1 card as they seek to tie Big Chill (10-1) for the top spot.

    The Oilers are second to last in the standings with a 1-10 slate.

    Cebuana Lhuillier (5-6) and National University-Banco De Oro (2-8), both already out in the quarterfinal race, clash at 2 p.m.

    Team standings: Big Chill 10-1, NLEX 9-1, Jumbo Plastic 10-3, Hog’s Breath 9-3, Cagayan Valley 8-4, Café France 7-4, Blackwater Sports 6-5, Boracay Rum 6-6, Cebuana Lhuillier 5-6, Wangs Basketball 4-9, NU-BDO 2-8, Zambales M-Builders 2-9, Derulo Accelero 1-10, Arellano-Air21 1-11.

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    Coach Leo Isaac and the Elite, champions the previous conference, try to avoid an early exit in the season opening Aspirants Cup. Jerome Ascano
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