CAGAYAN Valley looks to seal the last outright semifinal berth when it takes on Tanduay Light on Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
The Rising Suns, unbeaten in eight games, are eyeing a share of the lead with idle Hapee (9-0), which earned the first out of two outright semifinal spots with a win over Racal Motors on Monday.
[See Nine-player Hapee side still too much for Racal Motors, clinches first automatic semifinal berth]
Cagayan and Tanduay clash at 4 p.m.
Aside from moving to the semifinals early, the Rising Suns are hoping to carry an unblemished record to their match against the Fresh Fighters on January 22.
“We want to get to Hapee’s game securing the Top 2 spot,” said Cagayan Valley guard Abel Galliguez. “It’s nice to have a showdown between two unbeaten teams.”
The Rising Suns will have to play again without head coach Alvin Pua, who will be serving the final game of his three-match suspension for a physical contact with the referees in a previous outing.
“We definitely miss coach Alvin. But we want to play as a team regardless who’s coaching us and who’s leading us,” Galliguez said.
The Rhum Masters are looking to improve on their 4-5 win-loss card and bounce back from their defeat against Jumbo Plastic Linoleum on Thursday. Despite their loss, Tanduay Light is still in contention for sixth place and the last spot in the quarterfinals.
Café France (6-2) battles Cebuana Lhuillier (4-3) at 2 p.m.
The Bakers are in third place with a strong chance of gaining the first twice-to-beat incentive in the for the third and fourth placers.
Café France coach Egay Macaraya, however, is concerned with their game shape after having a 20-day break.
The Gems in fifth place just a game behind fourth-ranked Jumbo Plastic Linoleum (6-3), are going for their third straight victory.
In the first game at 12 p.m., BreadStory-Lyceum takes on Wangs Basketball. The two teams have 2-5 records.
Team standings: Hapee 9-0, Cagayan Valley 8-0, Café France 6-2, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum 6-3, Cebuana Lhuillier 4-3, Tanduay Light 4-5, AMA 3-6, Wangs 2-5, BreadStory-Lyceum 2-5, MJM M-Builders 2-6, Racal Motors 2-7, MP Hotel 1-7.