PBA playoffs reel off Friday | Inquirer Sports

PBA playoffs reel off Friday

Hotshots take on Aces in mainer
By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 04:35 AM March 27, 2015

Well-rested and obviously having forgotten narrowly missing a top two berth, defending champion Purefoods clashes with dangerous Alaska to highlight the start of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs today at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Star Hotshots need to take the longer route to the Final Four, starting with their 7 p.m. clash with the Aces in a best-of-three series, after losing a twice-to-beat incentive to Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text under the quotient system.

While Purefoods will be the fresher team in this series opener, the Aces are hoping to ride the momentum of a 104-98 triumph over Barangay Ginebra on Wednesday night as they try to extend a brilliant run.


NLEX and Meralco also open up their separate best-of-three series in the 4:15 p.m. contest, with the Bolts hoping that workhorse Cliff Hodge is available after missing their last two games because of a severe ankle sprain.


After occupying top spot for several days by finishing its elimination round earlier, Purefoods finished No. 3 after losing out in the tiebreak with Rain or Shine and Talk ‘N Text, which will now need to beat separate lower-ranked foes just once to make the semifinals.

Coach Tim Cone had said last week that they wouldn’t lose sleep if they do lose in the tiebreak and not get a twice-to-beat privilege.

But after seeing how Alaska has come back to life, a quarterfinal bonus would certainly be a welcome advantage at this point.

“We probably could have not picked a tougher opponent,” Cone said. “But at this point of the conference, every team is tough. We’ve worked hard the whole week, so we’re a confident group.”

Denzel Bowles has been the major factor for the Hotshots, who are on a four-game roll. He is expected to create match-up problems for the Aces, whose import, Damion James, plays the small forward position better.

The Aces won with the exact winning margin needed against the Gin Kings on Wednesday to make it as the sixth seeds. JV Casio has returned and is slowly rounding out to top form like starting center Sonny Thoss.

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TAGS: Basketball, PBA Commissioner's Cup

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