TWO of the hottest teams in the MPBL Datu Cup will try to keep their winning ways when they take on separate rivals on Tuesday at the Batangas City Coliseum.
Bataan, owners of the longest streak in the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league, will take on Caloocan at 7 p.m. as the Zetapro-backed Risers are trying to pull away from their pursuers in the tough northern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
The Risers have won 12 in a row in the tournament and leads the pack with a 12-1 record. They can get enough cushion against their closest pursuers with a win against the Longrich-supported Supremos, who had lost back-to-back games and are still in 11th spot in the northern division.
This makes every Caloocan game crucial beginning its game against Bataan, which appeared to be unstoppable.
Bataan coach Jojo Lastimosa is hoping the team could remain consistent and keep its eyes on the prize.
“We just have to keep on improving every game until we reach our goal. There were times that we play a notch lower, but we have to stay consistent every game,” added Lastimosa. “We still have a lot of things to improve on.”
Equally exciting is the game between host team Batangas City and Zamboanga in the main game at 9 p.m.
Just like Bataan, the Tanduay-backed Batangas City is a team on the rise as the Athletics racked up five straight wins to move up to solo third spot at 9-6.
The Athletics will take on an on and off Valientes squad that is currently on ninth place and needs to make its move to keep its hopes alive for a top eight berth of the southern division. Only eight teams at the end of the eliminations will make it to the quarterfinal round. — Rey Joble