TEAMS in the middle of the pack are looking to improve their marks and boost their chances of securing a berth in the quarterfinals as the 2016 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup elimination round reaches its homestretch.
Holding on to the last two slots in the quarterfinals, Rain or Shine and NLEX aim to strengthen their grip on the top eight when they take on separate lower-ranked teams.
The Elasto Painters (4-4) plunge to action against Phoenix Fuel (3-5) at 4:15 p.m., while the Road Warriors (4-4) are set to clash with cellar-dweller GlobalPort (2-6) at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum today.
Rain or Shine and NLEX are in a three-way tie with Mahindra for spots No. 6 to No. 8 and it is essential for them to win against their opponents to gain some much-needed leverage.
Teams below them such as Star (4-5) and Phoenix (3-5) are still very much in it.
Should the Fuel Masters earn a second straight victory against Rain or Shine, they will gain themselves a three-way tie with the Hotshots and the Elasto Painters and create a tighter chase.
If they lose, however, their chances of making it in the to the next phase will drop drastically.
Road Warriors coach Boyet Fernandez knows what’s at stake for his team in its game against GlobalPort.
“Our goal is to make the quarterfinals,” he said. “We’re looking forward to this next game against GlobalPort. We need to win this one to put ourselves in a better position.”
Mathematically, the Batang Pier is still in the running for a top spot in the top eight but its chances look bleak right now as it needs to win its remaining games and hope that the other teams above it lose a couple of games to have an outside shot of stealing a spot or forcing a playoff.