Defending PBA D-League Foundation Cup champion Cafe France jumpstarted its title-defense bid with an impressive 89-64 victory over the Topstar ZC-Mindanao Aguilas Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Carl Byran Cruz topscored for the Bakers with a game-high 21 points on 9-for-15 shooting. Paul Zamar added 17 points and five assists, while Samboy De Leon chipped in 12 points.
“One game at a time. I want my players to focus on improving every game. Tingnan na lang natin ano mangyayari,” Bakers head coach Egay Macaraya said.
The Bakers opened a double-digit lead in the first period after Jayson Opiso hit a triple which pushed his team’s lead to 14-4.
Later in the second quarter, back to back triples by Zamar and De Leon followed by an and-one conversion from Rodrigue Ebondo increased the gap to 32-11.
The Aguilas though, trimmed the deficit down to only 45-39 after opening the third quarter on a 15-2 run, before Zamar restored order by scoring eight of Cafe France’s next 12 points to end the period.
“They have to understand that they have to overcome every obstacle. Hindi naman ako nagta-timeout, basta I just let them feel na kaya niyo ‘yan,” Macaraya said.
Cafe France then poured 30 points in the fourth quarter to pull away. The Bakers led by as much as 28, and had 13 more assists than the Aguilas, 24-11.
Dexter Garcia and Gino Jumao-as each had 11 points for the Aguilas.
The Bakers (1-0) will take a week break before facing the Racal Tile Masters on Thursday, June 9 at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao, 4:00pm. The Aguilas (0-1) are also scheduled to face the Phoenix Accelerators in the first game of that day.
Cafe France (89) – Cruz 21, Zamar 17, De Leon 12, Ebondo 11, Opiso 7, Abundo 6, Casino 6, Villahermosa 6, Jeruta 2, Manlangit 1, Arim 0, Cortez 0.
Topstar ZC-Mindanao (64) – Garcia 11, Jumao-as 11, Argamino 9, Cabrera 9, Cawaling 8, Ignacio 6, Sarangay 6, Ongteco 4, Acosta 0, Dadjilul 0, Rivera 0, Rono 0, Tano 0.
Quarterscores: 20-9, 43-24, 59-43, 89-64.