IT WILL be a tall order for the Caloocan Supremos-Longrich as they try to keep their conference campaign alive when they visit the Batangas City Athletics-Tanduay in the resumption of the MPBL-Anta Rajah Cup at the Batangas City Coliseum.
Both ends meet tonight as the Supremos, who carry the tournament’s worst record at 1-7, troop the floor at 9 p.m. against the tournament leader Athletics (7-1).
But a win against the Athletics won’t be a guarantee of a free ride to the quarterfinal round for the Supremos as they still have to await the result of the games of the Bataan Defenders-Bai Shipping and the Imus Bandera-GLC Truck and Equipment, two other squads at the lower half of the standings.
The Defenders, who have a 2-5 record, are also needed to win their 7 p.m. encounter with the Muntinlupa Cagers-Angelis Resort to avoid complications. The Bandera tote a 2-6 card.
Only eight teams will advance to the quarterfinal round and should there be a three-way tie among Caloocan, Imus and Bataan, quotient system will be applied with the team with the more superior quotient advancing.
For the Longrich-backed Supremos, it’s now or never. Not only do the Supremos need to win their last game, but they also have to win with a wide margin to boost their chances of securing the eighth and final spot heading to the quarterfinal round.
But the Athletics don’t want to let their hometown cheering crowd down and want to keep their perfect record right on their own turf. Twice, Batangas City was able to win at home the hard way and a win in front of the Batanguenos will give them a big psychological advantage heading to the next round.
“I just told the boys, we’re beatable. If you don’t play hard, you don’t give your 100-percent, anything could happen, just like our loss against Bulacan,” said Batangas City head coach Mac Tan.
The match between the Angelis Resort-backed Cagers and the Defenders is equally important, especially for Bataan. But Muntinlupa has a similar mission of moving up the upper half of the standings. The team, which carries a 4-3 mark, is looking to win to forge a tie for second to fifth spots with idle Quezon City Capitals-Royal Manila, Bulacan Kuyas-Ligo Sardines and Valenzuela Classic-Yulz, all of them possessing a 5-3 record.