Cafe France, Fruitas try to enhance playoff bids
MANILA, Philippines - Café France and Fruitas resume their hunt for playoff spots as they take on Jose Rizal U and Informatics, respectively, today in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
The Bakers aim to rebound from a disappointing defeat to the Blackwater Sports Elite last year as they face a struggling Jose Rizal University side at 4 p.m.
With a 4-3 card, Café France needs a win to stay within striking distance of Big Chill and Blackwater, which tote identical 5-2 slates for a share of second.
The sixth-ranked Shakers, meanwhile, seek to stretch their win run to three and improve on their 3-3 mark for solo sixth as they tangle with the winless Informatics at 2 p.m.
But Fruitas has not played in nearly a month since stunning Big Chill, 86-81, last Dec. 11 with coach Nash Racela wary of his wards’ form.
"Hopefully, we get our form back in four practices," said Racela, who held their first practice session last Friday following the long holiday break.
Informatics remains the only team in the 11-team field without a win but Racela feels that the Icons are due for a win.
“They will be tough to beat, especially having practiced through the holiday season. Hopefully they don’t get their first win against us,” Racela said.
After losing to Blackwater Sports, Café France mentor Egay Macaraya hopes the Bakers would be able to recover lost ground despite lack of preparation.
"Our loss (to Blackwater Sports) was a nightmare for us. I just hope we could recover sooner and winning against JRU is the best remedy," said Macaraya.
The break, Macaraya said, forced the team to take a long vacation since most of his players are from the province. In the process they were left with practically no time to prepare against JRU.
"Short or long vacation, we have to learn our lesson and hope to win against JRU," Macaraya said.
The Heavy Bombers (2-4) are seeking an all-important win to stave off elimination and stay in contention for a quarterfinal slot.