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Cafe France, Tanduay battle to solidify twice-to-beat hopes

PBA (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--While Cafe France-CEU has already secured a place in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup playoffs and is comfortably ahead with a 5-0 record, Coach Egay Macaraya expressed his awareness of what his team's next opponent can do.

"Masyadong malakas din na team ang Tanduay. Unpredictable sila kasi anytime, they can have a good game," the soft-spoken mentor said ahead of the clash between the Bakers and the Rhum Masters at the FilOil Flying V Arena on Monday at 4 p.m.

A win by Cafe France would assure the team of ending the eliminations at the upper echelon of the quarterfinal qualifiers, which comes with a twice-to-beat advantage.

Coach Lawrence Chongson, on the other hand, finds his team's recent resurgence a sigh of relief after the club opened the conference in a not-so-good manner.

"[Our win against the AMA Titans] gave us a semblance of a chance to make it to the top four. If we would've lost, our top four aspirations, baka goodbye na yun," Chongson particularly said when asked about the Rhum Masters' probability of attaining the twice-to-beat edge.

Now at 3-2, Tanduay is tied with UP-QRS-JAM in fourth place.

In the curtain-raiser at 2 p.m., Phoenix-FEU looks to also strengthen its own bid for the top four finish against fellow UAAP squad BDO-NU.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno