Tight fight | Inquirer Sports

Tight fight

San Miguel, Meralco, Star jockeying for top two berths
By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 12:05 AM May 23, 2017



With six playdates left in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination round, it’s not only the race for the top two berths that seems as tight as can be, but also the battle for survival at the bottom of the standings and the teams trying to stay out of the dreaded seventh and eighth spots.

San Miguel Beer’s loss to Barangay Ginebra on Sunday night dropped the Beermen into a three-way tie for the lead, with the Gin Kings also putting themselves well in the mix in the race for one of two twice-to-beat privileges in the first round of the playoffs.


Also with 7-2 records like San Miguel are Meralco and Star, which will slug it out Wednesday at 7 p.m. with the winner putting a foot inside the top two.


Ginebra returns to action on Friday and will try to act as executioner of Blackwater at Alonte Sports Center in Biñan, Laguna, before the Gin Kings play the Bolts two nights later and close out against Mahindra on June 2.

Having three games left could work as an advantage for the Kings, with the trio tied at the top having just two each with Meralco and Star to cross paths and the Beermen having formidable Alaska and the Elite to contend with.

A sweep by Ginebra would give the Kings a 9-2 record, which can only be matched by San Miguel and either the Bolts or the Hotshots.

In that scenario, the Kings would have a great advantage in the event of a three-team tie for No. 1 mainly because of a 107-99 win over the Beermen on Sunday night to weigh heavily in the tiebreak.

“Now we have a chance,” Ginebra coach Tim Cone said after their 107-99 win over San Miguel.

While there’s a spirited battle for 1-2, several teams are clinging to dear life just to make the playoffs.


The powerhouse Aces are in dire need of putting things together quick to get to the next round and avoid qualifying No. 7 or No. 8.

Defending champion Rain or Shine arrested a slide and stayed in the middle of the pack, and the Elasto Painters, to remain there for sure, must beat GlobalPort and then TNT KaTropa to advance to a level playing field in the quarterfinals.

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Tournament format calls for Nos. 1 and 2 to clash with Nos. 8 and 7, respectively, in the quarterfinals.

TAGS: Basketball, PBA Commissioner's Cup

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