UNBEATEN teams Hog’s Breath Café and NLEX part ways in a marquee match-up on Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The Razorbacks, winners of four games, and the Road Warriors, unbeaten in three outings, battle at 2 p.m.
Hogs Breath and NLEX are aiming to close in on Big Chill, which has won all its six games in the conference.
Despite its unbeaten record, Hog’s Breath coach Caloy Garcia knows how difficult facing the star-studded Road Warriors will be.
“Kumbaga, RP team na ’yun,” said Garcia of the Road Warriors team that includes Gilas cadet players led by Garvo Lanete and Jake Pascual, and several players from the NCAA champion San Beda Red Lions led by Art de la Cruz.
The Razorbacks will look to run on offense in order to overcome the Road Warriors’ size.
“We know we are a lot smaller team. They are a huge team. We have to stop the bigs,” Garcia said.
NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said the Razorbacks are capable of pulling off an upset and he hopes that the Road Warriors will be in their top form on defense.
Fernandez noted the play of Letran’s Jamil Gubawan, Kevin Racal, Jonathan Belorio, and Ford Ruaya, along with Francis Allera, Philip Paniamogan, and Joseph Terso.
“I’ve been watching their games and they are really playing well,” Fernandez said. “I think they are the No. 1 team on offense right now. It’s a tough match-up for us.”
Lanete, Pascual, and Dela Cruz combined for 44 points in the Road Warriors’ 82-75 win over Boracay Rum earlier this week to stay unscathed.
Paniamogan led the Razorbacks with 19 points in the Razorbacks’ 93-69 victory against Cebuana Lhuillier on Tuesday.
In other games, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum goes up against Wangs Basketball (2-3) at 10 a.m. while struggling teams Arellano-Air21 and Derulo Accelero clash at 12 p.m.
The Giants are going for their fifth win when they face the Couriers, who stunned Cebuana Lhuillier on Monday for their second win in five outings.
The Chiefs hold a 1-4 win-loss record, while the Oilers are at 0-6.
Team standings: Big Chill 6-0; Hog’s Breath 4-0, NLEX 3-0, Jumbo Plastic 4-1, Cagayan Valley 5-2, Blackwater Sports 3-1, Café France 3-3, Wang’s Basketball 2-3, Zambales M-Builders 2-3, Boracay Rum 2-4, Cebuana Lhuillier 1-4, Arellano-Air21 1-4, NU-BDO 0-5, Derulo Accelero 0-6.