Tanduay, Cafe France face off in early clash of PBA D-League top favorites
Coaches Egay Macaraya and Lawrence Chongson test their retooled teams as they begin a new D-League campaign. Jerome Ascano / Jaime Campos

PRE-tournament favorites Tanduay and Cafe France clash in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

The Rhum Masters and Bakers clash at 5 p.m. after the opening game between Racal and Blustar Detergent.

Tanduay coach Lawrence is confident the Rhum Masters will get off to a good start, with former PBA player Mark Cruz now running the Rhum Masters plays. 

"We'll just have to rely on our own team build-up and the process that we undertook the past 50 days," Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson said. 

"Hopefully we'll continue to grow as a team as the long season rolls along."

Cafe France coach Egay Macaraya also optimistic even with some changes to the crew that backs up Cameroonian import Rod Ebondo.

"This is a very intersting game for us. It's youth versus experience but as I've always said we will give them a good fight and just hope for a positive result," said Macaraya, whose team got a boost from new acquisition Paul Desiderio and Michael Calisaan.

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