Talk ‘N Text guns for the outright No. 1 spot in the playoffs today when the Tropang Texters battle the Petron Blaze Boosters in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
With a 10-2 slate, a win in their 7:30 p.m. clash with the Boosters would mean that the only team with a mathematical chance of catching Talk ‘N Text is San Mig Coffee. But even if a tie between both teams at 11-3 pans out, the Mixers will slide down to No. 2 after losing their lone encounter against the Texters in the elimination round.
Alaska, its owner clearly disgusted with some league decisions, tries to arrest a four-game slide when it faces Meralco at 5:15 p.m.
Team owner Wilfred Steven Uytengsu sent the Inquirer a text message the other day criticizing the Office of the Commissioner for penalties it handed out on some players who played physical last week.
Alaska rookie Calvin Abueva missed the last game for the Aces because of a nose infection Uytengsu said was aggravated by shots taken by the prolific rookie from two players, including Air21’s Rob Reyes, who was fined P10,000.
“Players get fined 20k for leaving bench, but players who smash an opponent’s face to the ground only get a P10k fine?” Uytengsu said in the message.
Commissioner Chito Salud fined JR Quiñahan and Ryan Araña of Rain or Shine P20,000 each for rough plays against Meralco last week and both, like Reyes, escaped suspensions.
Petron tries to stretch its win run to four games and boost its playoff position. The Boosters, like Meralco, are trying to avoid finishing in seventh or eighth.
Tournament format calls for the No. 1 team to face the No. 8 squad and the No. 2 team to duke it out with the No. 7 squad. Both higher seeds have a twice-to-beat cushion.
The No. 3 seed battles the No. 6 seed while the No. 4 seed faces the No. 5 seed in a best-of-three series.