CAGAYAN Valley and Big Chill seek to recover from defeats that dropped them to a four-way tie for second place when they face separate opponents in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym.
The Rising Suns battle Jose Rizal University at noon while the Superchargers take on Erase XFoliant at 2 p.m.
Cagayan Valley absorbed a 75-84 loss to NLEX two weeks ago but stayed in the fight for one of two outright semifinal berths after Big Chill bowed to Fruitas, 88-81, last week.
Café France’s win over NLEX and Blackwater’s defeat at the hands of NLEX only spiced up the race for the automatic semifinal slot as the Bakers and the Elite joined the Rising Suns and the Superchargers in second place with identical 4-2 win-loss cards.
Meanwhile, Erase XFoliant (2-4) and JRU (1-4) in eighth and 10th spots, respectively, are hoping to keep alive their fading hopes. Only the top six teams make it to the next phase of the tournament.
Cagayan Valley and Big Chill are favored, but they know that their opponents are in must-win situations and therefore much more dangerous.
“JRU is a tough team. But we are motivated. Every game for us is a must-win. Hopefully, that mindset will land us in the playoffs,” Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua said.
“It is important for us to win against Erase because they can explode anytime. Coach Aric (del Rosario) is a veteran coach and he knows the formula of winning games,” said Big Chill coach Robert Sison.
The Erasers have lost their last three games while the Heavy Bombers have dropped four of their last five outings.