Mixers, Bolts duel for 2nd; Kings-BP for 7th
MANILA, Philippines - San Mig Coffee and Meralco square off for the No. 2 spot while Barangay Ginebra and Globalport slug it out for the seventh quarterfinal berth in the penultimate playdate of the PBA Governors Cup elimination round at the Smart Araneta Coliseum today.
The Mixers and the Bolts play at 5:15 p.m. then the Kings and the Batang Pier battle at 7:30 p.m. in a crucial double-header that has a major bearing in the fight for the twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.
The winner in the SMC-Meralco duel automatically secures the “win-once” advantage in the quarters.
The Kings, meanwhile, pursue not just an outright quarters entry but a crack at the Top Four and the precious quarters incentive in their important matchup with the Batang Pier.
In the last four games of the elims, San Mig Coffee (5-3), Meralco (5-3), Rain or Shine (5-4), Alaska Milk (4-4) and Ginebra (3-4) are the teams still battling for the three remaining seats in the Magic Four.
Safe at No. 1 with a twice-to-beat advantage versus the would-be eighth seed in the quarterfinals is Petron Blaze.
“The second seed would be a nice position to nestle into, especially after our poor start in this conference,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone.
“But Meralco is in the same boat and they’re playing as well as anyone outside of Petron. It will be a tough game, no doubt. We’ll have to be at our best,” Cone added.
“Our eyes are glued on a twice-to-beat advantage. We are bracing for a tough match against San Mig because we have the same mission to be No. 2,” said Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio.
“They’ve recovered after a 1-3 start. They have won four straight and we have to break their rhythm with defense as our main weapon,” Gregorio also said. “If we are to go deep in the playoffs, our offensive efficiency must be as strong as our defensive intensity.”
Meanwhile, the Batang Pier must win their last game in the elims if they’re to avoid any complication or any tie for the last slot in the quarters.
At 3-5, Globalport is on the verge of making its first playoff appearance in the league.
The Batang Pier automatically gain playoff entry with a win tonight or losses by the Air21 Express and the Talk n Text Tropang Texters at the close of the elims Sunday.