MANILA, Philippines - Boracay Rum and NLEX dispute the lead today while Café France tries to gain a piece of it as it squares off with Hog’s Breath Café in the PBA Foundation Cup at the Trinity University of Asia gym in QC.
The Waves kicked off their campaign with a big victory over the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns last Monday but coach Lawrence Chongson has expressed guarded optimism as they face the fancied Road Warriors in the 2 p.m. opener.
“NLEX is a tough team. I don’t think we have an advantage over them. But I guarantee you, we’ll give them a good fight,” said Chongson.
Chongson expects Chris Banchero to lead the Waves against the five-time champions after the Fil-Italian guard came away with 22 points in powering the Waves past the Rising Suns, 79-69.
Focus will also be on new recruit Rudy Lingganay, who tallied 12 markers although the Waves must also toughen up on defense to finally end a long losing spell to the Road Warriors.
But NLEX mentor Boyet Fernandez, whose wards have never lost to the Waves in the first four years of the league, is also wary of Boracay.
“Boracay Rum is a good team with a good coach. We can’t take them for granted. We got to play good defense if we want to win against them,” said Fernandez.
The Road Warriors started their bid for a sixth championship with a 102-84 blowout victory against defending champion Blackwater Sports, also last Tuesday.
Café France, meanwhile, seeks a share of the early lead as it takes on Hog’s Breath Café at 4 p.m.
“I think it’s about even for both teams in terms of match-ups. The key for us will be our ability to dominate the boards. If we can do that, we have a good chance,” said Café France coach Egay Macaraya.
The Bakers are coming off a 90-73 win against Derulo Accelero last Monday while Hog’s Breath is hoping to bounce back from a 73-81 setback to Big Chill last Tuesday.