Hotshots eye q’final bonus vs Bolts Friday
Purefoods tries to get the job done on the floor today and hopes to get some help from the others later when the defending champion Star Hotshots slug it out with a Meralco side that has its fate in its hands in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tied for the lead with idle Talk ‘N Text with a 7-3 record, the Hotshots need to win the 7 p.m. contest with the Bolts for a shot at a twice-to-beat quarterfinal privilege and then hope that Rain or Shine and the Tropang Texters don’t get to eight wins for the rest of the elimination round.
A loss would more or less knock them out of a top two berth for that playoff bonus and a triple tie with the Elasto Painters—who mangled them badly the only time they met—and the Tropang Texters won’t allow the Hotshots to win in the tiebreak.
“We need help from some of the other teams,” Purefoods coach Tim Cone said Tuesday night after a 103-96 ripping of Barako Bull also at the Big Dome.
“Of course I like where we are now, considering that we are assured of playing on a level field at worst,” Cone said. “But if we can get the (quarterfinal) bonus (by finishing in the top two), we would take that.
The Painters try to get the first of those two wins they need when they clash with ousted Blackwater in the 4:15 p.m. contest, favored to make it two straight after their bruising triumph over Barangay Ginebra last Sunday.
Denzel Bowles will again be at the forefront of the Purefoods game on both ends as the Hotshots try to end the qualifying phase on a high note.
Bowles, a former Best Import winner, scored 21 of his 34 points in the third quarter against the Energy, whom the Hotshots put in dire straits with a fifth straight loss in a 4-6 card.
As things stand, the battle for the remaining berths is also as heated as the one for a top two slot, with Alaska, Barangay Ginebra, Globalport and the Energy shooting for the last three berths.