MANILA, Philippines - Defending champion Blackwater Sports and three other teams scramble for playoff berths as they seek crucial victories today in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO gym in Cubao, QC.
The Elite, still reeling from a 91-93 setback to the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns last week, try to rebound against the Boracay Rum Waves, looking for their fourth victory in seven games.
But the Waves are also going all out in their 10 a.m. encounter, seeking to shore up their own playoff bid with a 3-4 mark.
The Rising Suns, tied with the Waves and the Big Chill Superchargers at fifth, hope to sustain their run as they face off with the Café France Bakers, down third to the last of the 10-team field, with a 2-4 mark. Gametime is at 12 noon.
Hog’s Breath Café and Derulo Accelero, meanwhile, collide in a duel of tailenders at 2 p.m. with the former out to nail their third win in eight games and the latter looking for a second win against six losses.
“We don’t want to be thinking of any pressure. We just want to play a good game today,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac.
The top two teams after the single round eliminations earn an outright passage in the semifinals while the third and fourth seed teams advance to the quarterfinals with twice-to-beat edges.
A victory by the Elite would put them in contention for an outright semis berth.
But much of the heat rests on the shoulders of the Waves and Rising Suns, who are desperately in need of a win to bolster their bids for quarterfinal berths.
Apparently displeased with his team’s effort, Boracay Rum coach Lawrence Chongson said Blackwater Sports is the least of their worries.
“We really need to rediscover our desire to win ballgames before even worrying about our opponent. If we can do that, then probably our chance will get better,” said Chongson.
Cagayan Valley assistant coach Raymond Valenzona, however, thinks the Rising Suns have a good shot at crashing into the playoffs.
“I think we have a big chance to make it to the playoffs although we have to stay focused and must not be complacent,” he said.
But the Rising Suns should expect tough challenge against the Bakers, who are a lot more motivated.