FRUITAS knows it has a shot at a share of the lead in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup, but will have to get past surging EA Regens Thursday to exactly do it.
The Shakers are coming off an 83-75 win against corporate rival Big Chill last week and coach Nash Racela, was quick to praise the kind of character the team showed in bouncing back from a loss.
Now he hopes the Shakers would be as tough against Team Delta whose size, according to him, is definitely a cause for concern.
“We are worried about (EA Regens’) size,” declared Racela.
“But we feel we have a good chance if we play good defense and not allow them to dominate the boards. Also we want to force them to run with us,” added the Fruitas mentor.
A victory by the Shakers in their 2 p.m. duel with Team Delta would allow them to tie idle Blackwater Sports for first place at 5-1.
But EA Regens is on a roll and will be aiming for a third straight win to move up another rung in the standings in the hopes of bolstering their playoff hopes.
And the frontline duo of Raymund Almazan and Ian Sanggalang definitely poise a big problem for Fruitas.
The two has been playing solid lately averaging double-double the past two games -- Almazan (17 points, 14 rebounds) and Sanggalang (18 points, 10 rebounds) – that saw Team Delta trounce Cagayan Valley and Cebuana Lhuillier.
Carlo Lastimosa has been Fruitas main man, leading the team in scoring with average of 19 points a game, but will still need a lot of support from Pong Escobal, Roger Pogoy, and Grayann Mendoza.
In the other game, Jumbo Plastic (2-5) tries to win two in a row for the first time in the conference when it takes on Cebuana Lhuillier in the 4 p.m. main game.
The Gems (3-4), coming off a 69-73 loss to EA Regens last Monday, will try to get back on the winning track and stay in contention for a playoff spot.