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    Fruitas, Blackwater battle for top spot in DLeague

    Mar 20, 2013
    “There will be times when we will struggle on offense but as long as we can play defense there’s always the chance of winning. We still have a long way to go this conference and there will be a lot more tests,” says Fruitas coach Nash Ra

    FRUITAS and Blackwater Sports part ways as the undefeated teams collide on Thursday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

    The Shakers face the Elite at 2 p.m. in a battle for the top spot in the team standings.

    Fruitas is coming off contrasting victories, opening its new campaign with an 81-56 rout of Jumbo Plastic.

    On Monday, the Shakers had a morale-boosting victory when they came back from 22 points down to defeat Cebuana Lhuillier, 75-72.

    “This team is barely a month old,” said Fruitas coach Nash Racela said. “It still needs to gel and develop some chemistry. But I’m already learning their hearts and character.”

    “There will be times when we will struggle on offense but as long as we can play defense there’s always the chance of winning. We still have a long way to go this conference and there will be a lot more tests,” he added.

    Meanwhile, Blackwater has scored two close wins, coming up win an 86-80 squeaker against Café France and an 89-85 overtime win over Cagayan Valley.

    Blackwater coach Leo Isaac said Fruitas is definitely a formidable team with the core of players from Far Eastern University.

    “We still have a lot of things to work on. Fruitas is a young team but showed a lot of character. It will be an interesting match-up,” said Isaac.

    Defending champion NLEX tries to bounce back from an opening-day loss when it battles Cebuana Lhuillier at 12 p.m.

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    The Road Warriors were stunned in their first game since winning their fourth straight crown, losing to Big Chill in overtime, 77-86.

    NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez hoping to play tougher defense against the Gems, who owns an even 1-1 win-loss slate.

    “Cebuana is a tough match-up so we have to bring our defensive mindset if we intend to win,” said Fernandez.

    EA Regen Med Group, meanwhile, debuts against fellow newcomer Hogs Breath Café at 4 p.m.

    The Pampanga-based team will have Vergel Meneses as coach with several players from the Jose Rizal University team last conference as part of the line-up.

    The Razorbacks, on the other hand, captured their first win by stunning Big Chill, 69-63, on Monday.

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    “There will be times when we will struggle on offense but as long as we can play defense there’s always the chance of winning. We still have a long way to go this conference and there will be a lot more tests,” says Fruitas coach Nash Ra
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