Petron-Barako Bull KO tiff up; B-Meg seeks lead vs ROS
On the opposite side of the standings, the Llamados (5-2) and the Elasto Painters (2-5) mix it up in the 7:30 p.m. game, with a win pushing B-Meg ahead of defending champion Talk ‘N Text and closer to an automatic semifinal berth.
“We all know what happened to us in the last (tournament’s) quarterfinals,” B-Meg coach Tim Cone said, referring to their crash-and-burn stint as No. 1 seed in the Philippine Cup at the hands of Powerade.
“Obviously, we would want to proceed playing in a longer series rather than a short one,” Cone added, noting that a best-of-seven series in the semifinals would allow teams to adjust after losses.
The Painters bowed out of contention two weeks ago after a string of three losses. But they remain a dangerous foe, especially now that they will be playing pressure-free.
Barako Bull and Petron Blaze collide in the 5:15 p.m. game with the loser taking an early vacation like the Painters and Meralco Bolts.
Petron breaks in new import Will McDonald in its bid to stay alive. McDonald replaced gentle 7-foot giant Nick Fazekas with two games left in the Boosters’ elimination-round schedule which they need to win.
McDonald played in the Euro leagues for four teams, the last with Joventut Badalona. He is listed as 6-foot-11 and a graduate of University of South Florida.
With the teams all bunched in the standings, the Llamados and the Tropang Texters have earned at least quarterfinal stints, with the idle Barangay Ginebra Kings, the Tigers and Alaska Aces having a foot in the next round.
B-Meg’s young import Denzel Bowles will lead the squad on both ends with former two-time MVP James Yap and Peter June Simon the primary local offensive options for Cone.
Duke Crews will spearhead the Painters, who have yet to show the form that took them all the way to a Game 7 in the Philippine Cup against eventual runner-up Powerade.
The Boosters will come into their game against the Energy with a two-game losing streak, while Barako Bull will be taking the momentum of an 89-82 come-from-behind win over Meralco into their match.
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