BLACKWATER Sports tries to extend its win streak to five against an NLEX side looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Elite, with a 4-1 win-loss card, are looking to tighten their grip on second place but the match is expected to be tough especially since the Road Warriors will be eager to bounce back from a stunning 52-66 loss to Café France.
That was NLEX’s first loss in 24 matches stretching back to two conferences ago.
Gametime is at 2 p.m. after the battle of cellar dwellers Boracay Rum and Informatics.
Although the Road Warriors are expected to come out stronger after the recent defeat, the Elite see it as a good thing because it proved the three-time champions are beatable.
“That’s good news for us,” said Blackwater Sports coach Leo Isaac. “With that loss of NLEX to Café France, hindi pala imposibleng talunin sila.”
The Elite also got a free ticket to second place after Big Chill’s 81-88 loss to Fruitas on Tuesday as the Superchargers slid to third place with a 4-2 win-loss slate.
The top two placers after the 10-game elimination round will secure automatic seats in the semifinal round.
NLEX, however, doesn’t want to lose two straight outings as showed in the records as they have not lost back-to-back games in the last three conferences.
The Road Warriors are still on track for an outright semifinal seat but in order to secure that incentive, they have to work on their defense, according to NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez.
“We are focusing ourselves on improving our defense individually and as a team because our defense will be crucial in our campaign this season,” Fernandez said.
Meanwhile, the Waves try to score back-to-back wins when they face the winless Icons.
Boracay Rum finally nailed its first win after five outings, a 63-53 win over Jose Rizal University for a 1-5 win-loss slate.
“Hopefully, we can build on that victory after we had a poor start,” said Boracay Rum coach Lawrence Chongson.