CAFEFRANCE goes for a semifinal berth on Thursday when the Bakers face Wangs Basketball in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The top-ranked Bakers hold a twice-to-beat advantage against the eighth-seeded Couriers, They face off at 2 p.m.
The top four teams are given twice-to-beat incentives against the lower four squads in the quarterfinal round.
CaféFrance, aiming for back-to-back titles after topping the Foundation Cup last year, finished the elimination round with an 8-1 win-loss slate but head coach Egay Macaraya refused to be complacent against Wangs, which has won only one game so far.
“I just hope that everybody is ready to play. No. 1 lang ito. It’s a good motivation and morale booster sa quarterfinals but it’s just the seeding,” Macaraya said.
CafeFrance is again hoping to get big numbers from Carl Bryan Cruz, a contender for the conference Most Valuable Player award.
QRS/JAM Liner trakes on Tanduay in a 4-vs-5 battle at 4 p.m.
The two teams finished the elimination round with 5-3 records but the Maroons took the twice-to-beat advantage by virtue of their 102-86 victory over the Rhum Masters.
“Magandang achievement ito, lalo na sa management, kasi first time namin mag-compete sa big league at nakapasok kami agad sa top four,” said UP-QRS/JAM coach Bert de la Rosa.
Focus is again on Raymond Aguilar, who leads the MVP race, as the Maroons battle the Rhum Masters, who had their winning streak snapped at five in the final elimination-round game against Phoenix Petroleum to slip to the No. 5 spot.
“We have to step it up on defense to stand a chance against the well-oiled offense of UP QRS/JAM Liner,” said Chongson.