MANILA – The all-new PBA D-League season is set to open on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
In its fifth season, the league will start a new era following the recent move of NLEX Road Warriors and Blackwater Sports Elite teams to PBA.
After the opening ceremonies at 11 a.m., Café France and the Manny Pacquiao-owned MP Hotel will face during the first game of the Aspirants Cup at 12 p.m.
“We have a pretty good team so I really like our chances this season,” said Café France head coach Edgar Macaraya.
The Bakers’ are expected to have a stronger lineup with the addition of Fil-Americans Maverick Ahmanmisi and Jonar Huertas, DLSU center Yutien Andrada and Tim Habelito.
“I have no idea what type of team we are up against. We haven’t seen them (MP) play. But I think we have a slight advantage with our experience. Our picks provide us with some depth but chemistry is still something that we have to work on. So far we’re doing well in practice,” added Macaraya.
For the second game, Cebuana Lhuillier will face newbie Racal Motors at 2 p.m., while AMA University and Wangs Basketball will battle it out at 4 p.m.
“I think we’ll give a good fight,” said AMA coach Mark Herrera. “I know how my players play and they also know my system well so chemistry won’t be an issue.”
The Gems are now one of the early favorites because of their newest additions which include Allan Mangahas, Kevin Ferrer, Gio Ciriacruz, and DLSU players Norbert Torres and Almond Vosotros.