Hot Aces seek vital win vs Kings
League co-leader Alaska slugs it out with Barangay Ginebra today looking for a win that would give the Aces at least a tie for the second outright Final Four berth in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations.
Game time is 7 p.m. at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay with the Aces seeking a third straight victory and nine overall in 10 matches.
In the curtain-raiser at 4:15 p.m., Barako Bull and NLEX battle it out to enhance their playoff positions.
Ginebra is coming off three consecutive defeats and has bowed out of the race for the outright semifinal slot.
The Gin Kings badly need a win against the Aces to stay in the upper half of the standings and earn a quarterfinal bonus.
The top two teams after the elimination round advance to the Final Four outright with the next four gaining twice-to-beat privileges in the first phase of the quarterfinals against the bottom four teams.
The situation is tricky for Alaska since the Aces will still be clashing with Rain or Shine to end their elimination-round schedule. A victory today will still not guarantee Alaska of that Final Four incentive.
Idle San Miguel Beer has the inside track to the first semifinal slot, as the Beermen—who are tied with the Aces at 8-1 on the strength of a five-game winning run—will still have Talk ‘N Text and lightweight Blackwater as their last foes.
Calvin Abueva has been the biggest reason why the Aces, who are fresh off two come-from-behind wins, are in this position.
“We have a tough schedule,” Alaska coach Alex Compton said last week. “Right now, I wish we could take it easy, but we can’t.”
Despite double-doubles by Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, the Gin Kings were still upset by Globalport, 98-77, on Sunday, and Ginebra cannot afford to drop another as it will fall in a tie for sixth with the Batang Pier.
Ties will be broken via the quotient system, and should the Kings and the Batang Pier end up with the same record, Globalport will advance as the higher-ranked team with the twice-to-beat privilege.