TIM Cone is in a place he hates most. Ryan Gregorio, on the other hand, simply can’t help but relish where he is now.
B-Meg and Meralco, squads that belonged to the opposite ends of the pole for much of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations, are now on equal footing and will dispute starting today one of two remaining Final Four berths at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After spending most of the elimination round being either in the lead or in second place, B-Meg battles Meralco, a side dismissed as goners after a lukewarm start, battle in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinal series at 6:30 p.m.
Alaska and Barako Bull, both well-rested, start their series at 4:15 p.m.
Talk ‘N Text, the defending champion, and crowd-darling Barangay Ginebra are safely in the Final Four with the Tropang Texters awaiting the winner of the Alaska-Barako Bull series and the Gin Kings to play the B-Meg-Meralco survivor.
Both semifinal series will be over seven games, and more than the rest that comes with qualifying outright, Cone wants to be in a long series rather than in a short one because it gives teams time to adjust.
Cone has made it no secret that he doesn’t want to play in a short series, after his Philippine Cup experience as the No. 1 seed against No. 8 Powerade which booted his Llamados out in two straight games.
Gregorio, meanwhile, said that he is “just happy to be part of something like this,” after his B-Boys made the playoffs via the backdoor with a 102-98 decision of the Tigers Friday night.
“We all know what happened against Powerade,” Cone had said a few days back, when he and his Llamados had a clear shot at even topping the elimination round.
“We don’t have much time to reflect or feel bad about last night’s (Friday’s) performance,” added Cone after they blew a shot against Ginebra also Friday.