CAFÉ France coach Egay Macaraya is worried the long holiday break will do more harm than good in the team’s current campaign in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
Macaraya said most of his players, particularly those from Centro Escolar University, are spending their Christmas and New Year vacations in the provinces, preventing the team from holding practices together.
The team has a school-based tie-up with CEU, which sees action in the National Athletic Association for Schools, Colleges, and Universities (Naascu).
“Palaging nangyayari sa amin na lahat ng mga students are going home kasi taga-probinsya sila,” said Macaraya.
The Bakers can’t afford to suffer a meltdown at this point of the conference.
With only a few games to go in the eliminations, Café France has a 6-2 win-loss record for third place and still has a chance at earning an outright semifinal berth as it is right behind second placer Cagayan Valley (7-0).
But just a notch below the Bakers are Jumbo Plastic Linoleum (5-3) and Cebuana Lhuillier (4-3), which will be Café France’s next opponent when the tournament resumes next month.
The top two teams after the elimination round gain outright berths in the semifinals while the third and fourth teams will get twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“We are very worried kasi Cebuana ang kalaban namin. May advantage sila kasi most of their players are based in Manila,” said Macaraya.
The Café France coach can only hope his players will have a sense of urgency when they return to Manila prior to the Bakers’ match against the Gems on January 8.
“Everybody needs a break. Bakasyon muna. Hopefully, we could gain our form pagbalik,” said Macaraya, a noted three-point shooter during his playing days.