Egay Macaraya unfazed by high expectations after maiden Cafe France success in D-League
Cafe France looks to complete the D-League collection, eyeing the Aspirants Cup title after topping the  Foundation Cup. Jerome Ascano

CAFE France is aiming for nothing less than back-to-back championships as they compete in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

After their successful run in the Foundation Cup last year, the Bakers are going all out for another title this conference in the Aspirants Cup with expectations also rising following a tie-up with Freego.

But Café France head coach Egay Macaraya welcomed the challenge from management.

“I guess umangat na ang standard ng Café France. Alam naman ninyo na nasa bottom kami dati. I guess we are on the right track. Hopefully, we can maintain the standard and do better,” said Macaraya during a press conference at the Café France Jupiter Street branch in Makati City.

The Bakers retained their core coming from Centro Escolar University led by Samboy De Leon, Rodrigue Ebondo, and Mon Abundo while also bringing veteran players Mar Villahermosa, Paul Zamar, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Jam Cortes.

Also in the team are Oliver Neal Arim, John Carlo Casino, Aaron Jeruta, Joseph Ryan Celso, Rich Guinitaran, Joseph Manlangit, and Jason Opiso.

The Bakers are off to a good start in the Aspirants Cup with a 2-0 win-loss record going to their match against fellow undefeated squad QRS/JAM Liner on Thursday.

“I really hope na we can win the title this season,” Café France marketing manager Mary Haydee Evangelista told the team during the press conference. “Iba na ‘yung level natin dahil meron na tayong partner.”

Freego was impressed with the performance of Café France, which beat Hapee for the Foundation Cup crown.

“I’ve seen so many players from your team who really outdid themselves playing a powerhouse team like Hapee. I salute you and congratulate you for that championship,” said Edster Sy, sports marketing consultant of Freego.

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