By Jerome Lagunzad
Games Today (JCSGO gym, Cubao)
7 p.m. – Muntinlupa vs Caloocan
9 p.m. – Imus vs Quezon City
Quezon City aims to gain a share of the lead tonight when the Capitals play host to visiting Imus Bandera in the resumption of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Rajah Cup action at the JCSGO gym in Cubao.
Game time is at 9 p.m., with Quezon City out to gain a fitting follow-up to an impressive 87-69 win over Bataan last week and Imus determined to recover from a 93-79 loss to pre-season champion Bulacan.
Clashing in the opener at 7 p.m. are resurgent Muntinlupa and struggling Caloocan.
The Cagers, currently in a four-way tie from fourth to sixth spots with a 1-1 cards, are coming off a 67-60 victory over the Parañaque Patriots last Thursday while the Supremos have yet to break the ice after two tries.
All eyes, however, will be on the Capitals, who loom to be one of the most formidable teams with the way they made life miserable for the Defenders, led by four-time PBA scoring champion Gary David, behind a sustained pressure.
Mapua standout Andoy Estrella, who recorded the league’s first triple-double performance the last time out, is expected to lead Quezon City’s attack anew alongside Jay Collado, former La Salle big man PJ Barua and his fellow Cardinal Hesed Gabo.
Standing in their way are the Bandera, who will pin their hopes on the likes of big men Jessie Saitanan and Orly Daroya.
Former University of the East standout Pari Llagas and University of the Philippines product Dave Moralde are eager to lead the way for the Cagers, who also have former pros Egay Billones, Al Vergara and Chito Jaime in their fold.
Down at the cellar in the 10-team field, the Supremos could play with a better sense of urgency, with the likes of veterans James Mangahas, Mar Villahermosa, Donald Gumaru and Dawn Ochea tipped to show the way.