Philippine Daily Inquirer
Fight to the finish
Five teams, three playoff berths; wild finish seen as PBA Philippine Cup enters homestretch of elimination phase
With five teams in the running for three quarterfinal spots, everything points to an exciting finish to the elimination round of the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday.
Barangay Ginebra battles Rain or Shine at 7 p.m., shooting for a victory that will also allow the Gin Kings to avoid a disadvantage in the next round, while Phoenix fights to stay alive in the playoff race at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Gin Kings, who can book a quarterfinal berth with a victory, haven’t seen action since losing to Meralco on Feb. 18 but are favorites against the depleted Painters.
The game has huge repercussions for Ginebra: A loss will relegate it to a playoff for the No. 8 seed with either TNT or Blackwater.
And as if that isn’t already a daunting task, a date with top seed and defending champion San Miguel Beer awaits should they survive that duel.
The Fuel Masters need a victory against GlobalPort to survive, but they will battle a Batang Pier squad that will be boosted by the return of Terrence Romeo in the first game at 4:30 p.m.
“I’m excited to play again and I hope I can help the team,” said Romeo in Filipino. “Coach Pido (Jarencio) has done a good job for the team.”
With a 4-6 record, Phoenix can at least gain a playoff berth for a quarterfinal spot against TNT with a victory.
But a win by the Fuel Masters coupled by a Ginebra loss in the second game will put Phoenix in the No. 7 spot, which will lead to a showdown with twice-to-beat Magnolia.
Already through to the next round, the Batang Pier, who hold a 5-5 record, are hoping to avoid dropping to No. 7.