Bolts, Mixers duel for No. 2
Batang Pier, Gin Kings collideBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Meralco and San Mig Coffee dispute the No. 2 spot—and the second twice-to-beat quarterfinal privilege—when they clash today in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With no legitimate center and a real superstar on their roster, the Bolts have gutted out quite a success story in the season-ending tournament despite enormous odds and are given an equal chance against the talent-laden Mixers in the 5:15 p.m. contest.
Toting identical 5-3 cards, tonight’s winner will have a huge advantage in the first round of the playoffs starting next week, as it will draw the No. 7 team in the quarterfinals and need to win just once to advance to the Final Four.
The loser will wait for the results of the final playing date of the elimination round on Sunday to find out whether or not it will bag a top-four slot or go into a playoff for the twice-to-beat privilege.
Globalport and Barangay Ginebra slug it out in the 7:30 p.m. game with the winner earning outright passage to the quarterfinals. This game is important for the Gin Kings if they hope to figure in the playoff for No. 4.
As things stand, idle Petron Blaze is No. 1 with an 8-1 slate with defending champion Rain or Shine, at 5-4, assured of at least a playoff for No. 4.
No team has bowed out yet, with Talk ‘N Text and Air21, at the bottom with 2-6 cards but still having a mathematical chance of nailing the No. 8 slot.
The Express battle Alaska and the Gin Kings slug it out with the Tropang Texters on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
“Our eyes are glued on the possibility of a twice-to-beat advantage,” Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio said. “We are bracing ourselves for a tough match against San Mig because we have the same mission, and that is to finish No. 2.”
After trading the rights to Asi Taulava to acquire Mike Cortez, Gregorio now has a point guard who is also a scoring option.