Café France got off to a sizzling start and blasted MP Hotel, 86-59, on Monday to start its campaign in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Ynares Arena in Pasig City.
It was a mismatch. The Bakers jumped to a huge lead early and dominated their inexperience rivals the entire game.
Fil-Am Maverick Ahanmisi and guard Alvin Abundo scored 11 points apiece while shooting a combined 7 of 11 from the field to show the way for the Bakers. Jam Cortes and Rodrigue Ebondo added 10 each.
“We just had a good start. At yung kalaban namin medyo naninibago pa,” said Café France coach Egay Macaraya of their lopsided victory.
While saying he has a balanced and deep team this season, Macaraya said he is not yet convinced that the Bakers are a title contender.
“Hindi pa ako naniniwala sa team ko. Siguro if we could play with the same intensity and passion against elite team baka makumnbinsi ako,” he said.
Ahanmisi scored 10 of his points in the first quarter on 3 of 3 shooting, including two 3-point shots to spark Café France’s breakaway.
Jamabon Bulac came off the bench and topscored for MP Hotel with nine points.
The Warriors hardly put up a challenge in the absence of dependable leader and go-to-guy. Worse, they also shot poorly (22 of 67).
After Hernal Escoto tied the score at 4-all, the Bakers went on a 27-5 run to close the first quarter. After that Macaraya rested his starters for most of the next three quarters and let his second unit finish the job. (Dave Coros)
Café France 86 – Ahanmisi 11, Abundo 11, Cortes 10, Ebondo 10, Jeruta 8, Adrada 8, Sedurifa 7, Galanza 6, Noble 6, Batino 5, Habelito 2, De Leon 2, HUertas 0, Celso 0.
MP Hotel 59 – Bulac 9, Escosio 8, Yaya 8, Collado 7, Belorio 6, McCarthy 5, Sumido 4, Calo 4, Morillo 4, Allen 2, Hainga 2, Blanco 0, Landicho 0, Yusop 0.
Quarters: 31-9; 48-22; 69-42; 86-59