BORACAY Rum and Fruitas look to secure semifinal berths when they face separate opponents on Tuesday in the quarterfinal round of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Blue Eagle Gym in Ateneo.
The third-ranked Waves face sixth seed EA Regen Medical Group at 2 p.m., while the fourth-ranked Shakers go up against No. 5 Big Chill at 4 p.m.
Boracay Rum and Fruitas hold twice-to-beat advantages in the quarterfinals. The do-or-die matches, if necessary, will be played on Thursday at the Blue Eagle Gym.
Boracay Rum clinched the twice-to-beat advantage on the final day of the eliminations, when the Waves defeated Fruitas, 63-54, on Thursday.
“EA was a newly-formed team the first time we faced them,” said Boracay Rum head coach Lawrence Chongson, noting that they expect a tougher Regens squad than the team that they beat in their first meeting.
“Today, two months since the conference began, it’s a totally different EA team.”
The Regens acquired Alex Nuyles via a trade with Big Chill near the end of the eliminations to beef up their squad heading into the playoffs.
“The potential of their manpower build up has surfaced,” Chongson said.
Meanwhile, Big Chill also got a boost in the Nuyles trade when the Superchargers got big man Jeckster Apinan. The Superchargers barely made it to the quarterfinals, claiming the fifth-seed with a superior quotient in a four-way tie at the end of the eliminations.
Fruitas coach Nash Racela, whose team had defeated Big Chill, 83-75, in their previous encounter, said the Superchargers are a much different team with Apinan.
“Big Chill is a dangerous team, especially after the trade,” said Racela. “So our mindset should be to try and finish the series on Tuesday. Learn from our previous games and come out better in the playoffs.”
Fruitas will be relying on veterans Carlo Lastimosa, Pong Escobal, Anjo Caram, and Far Eastern University guard Mike Tolomia against Big Chill.