Playoff placing, Ginebra survival highlight elimination homestretch
Playoff positioning in the PBA Philippine Cup will hit fever pitch this week with defending champion Barangay Ginebra to busy itself getting out of a bind.
With five teams already finished with their elimination round assignments and only two things assured so far—TNT claiming No. 1 and the first twice-to-beat quarterfinal privilege and Blackwater already eliminated with the worst losing streak in league history—everyone in the middle will be jockeying for the best possible positions at Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Stats chief Fidel Mangonon III on Monday afternoon shared 16 scenarios to media for the coming week where San Miguel Beer, Alaska, NLEX and NorthPort are also scheduled to finish their elimination round assignments.
Ginebra has a match against Meralco left and the Gin Kings would need no less than a win to stay alive in the hunt and hope the results of the other games go their way to advance without a hitch.
A loss will still open a window for the Kings, though very small. Tim Cone and his charges would need NorthPort to win against Alaska to trigger a sudden death against Phoenix Super LPG for the last playoff berth, which is not actually a good hand since it would require beating the Tropang Giga two straight times to make the Final Four.
The best that Ginebra could hope for is qualifying as the seventh seed, which will require, first, a win over Meralco, and then a San Miguel victory over Alaska, an NLEX triumph over its sister team Meralco and the Aces prevailing against NorthPort.
Being No. 7 also carries a quarterfinal burden as it would mean beating No. 2 twice. Meralco, meanwhile, has two games left and could bag the bonus with just a split, easing Magnolia down to No. 3.
Coming to this week, the Hotshots hold an 8-3 record and the Bolts 7-2, and in case both end up tied, Meralco will grab No. 2 because of a 95-94 win in their only elimination round clash here.
Terrafirma remains in the hunt for a playoff spot despite closing out with a 4-7 record.
Of the 16 scenarios, three will still afford the Dyip a chance at making the quarterfinals via the back door. INQ