HAPEE collides with Cebuana Lhuillier as the Fresh Fighters seek to stay undefeated without a few key players in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup on Thursday at the Technological Institute of the Philippines gym in Manila.
Hapee, with a 4-0 win-loss card, takes on the Gems in the first game of a doubleheader at 2 p.m. but the Fresh Fighters will not have its San Beda core of Ola Adeogun, Baser Amer, Art Dela Cruz, Ryusei Koga, Jaypee Mendoza, and Michael Sorela for the game with the Red Lions playing in the finals of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League later in the afternoon.
[See La Salle, San Beda begin title showdown in Philippine Collegiate Champions League]
Cebuana Lhuillier coach Boycie Zamar said the game is still a big test, with former NLEX stars Garvo Lanete and Bobby Ray Parks along with several other top collegiate players suiting up for the Fresh Fighters.
“Let’s face it. Hapee is the same NLEX team. They have the same players who played for NLEX,” said Zamar.
The Gems are currently in fifth place with a 2-2 win-loss slate, and broke their two-game slide recently against Tanduay Light.
In the other game, Café France faces Tanduay Light at 4 p.m. with the Bakers looking to bounce back from an 89-84 double overtime loss to Cagayan Valley last week.
The thrilling win by the Rising Suns were actually the first loss by the Bakers to fall to a 3-1 win-loss slate.
The Rhum Masters (1-3) are looking to snap a three-game skid, but coach Lawrence Chongson is still in the United States to take care of business matters.
Tanduay also looks to avoid joining cellar dwellers Racal Motors, MP Hotel, and MJM M-Builders.
Standings: Hapee 4-0, Cagayan Valley 4-0, Jumbo Plastic 4-1, Café France 3-1, Wangs 2-2, Cebuana Lhuillier 2-2, AMA 2-3, BreadStory-LPU 2-3, Tanduay Light 1-3, Racal Motors 1-4, MP Hotel 1-4, MJM M-Builders 1-4.