HAPEE and Cagayan Valley resume their drive for the two outright semifinal berths in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup when they face teams at the bottom half of the standings in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Monday at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
The Fresh Fighters battle Racal Motors (2-6) in the second game at 2 p.m., while the Rising Suns take on AMA University (3-5) at 12 noon at the resumption of the conference following a 14-day holiday break.
Hapee occupies the top spot with a perfect 8-0 record, with Cagayan Valley just a notch behind with a 7-0 slate as the two teams remain on pace to claiming the two automatic semifinal berth.
The Fresh Fighters routed MP Hotel, 84-63, in their final outing, while the Rising Suns defeated Racal Motors in overtime, 95-89.
The Rising Suns, however, will continue to miss the services of head coach Alvin Pua, who is serving the second of his three-match suspension following physical contact with game officials.
Meanwhile, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum looks to strengthen its bid for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals when the Giants face Tanduay Light in the day’s final game at 4 p.m.
The Giants are currently in fourth place and hope to improve on their 5-3 win-loss slate, although they’ve lost two of their last three games.
The third and fourth placers at the end of the elims gain a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
For their part, the streaking Rhum Masters remain in contention for the quarterfinal incentive as they carry an even 4-4 (win-loss) card.
Tanduay Light is on a three-game winning streak but head coach Lawrence Chongson has downplayed the run as the victories were against teams at the bottom half of the standings.
The true test for the Rhum Masters, according to Chongson, will be against Jumbo Plastic.
Team standings: Hapee 8-0, Cagayan Valley 7-0, Café France 6-2, Jumbo Plastic 5-3, Cebuana Lhuillier 4-3, Tanduay Light 4-4, AMA 3-5, Wangs Basketball 2-5, MJM M-Builders 2-6, Bread Story-Lyceum 2-6, Racal Motors 2-6, MP Hotel 1-7.