THE action intensifies even more as teams continue to jockey for better positioning with the playoffs right around the corner in the 2016 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
A pair of crucial, action-packed encounters is set as San Miguel Beer (5-3) goes head to head with NLEX (5-4) at 4:15 p.m., while Rain or Shine (5-4) takes on already-eliminated GlobalPort (2-7) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum today.
The Beermen, the Road Warriors and the Elasto Painters all need a win badly to improve their standing and positioning as the elimination round winds down to its final games.
A win for any of these three will push the victor to six wins, the requisite number of triumphs for a berth in the quarterfinals.
Third-running San Miguel Beer will have a lot at stake when it tries to get back on the rail against NLEX.
The Road Warriors and the Elasto Painters, meanwhile, are in a three-way tie with Talk ‘N Text from ranks No. 5 to 7 and they still need to get a win or two to formalize their entry into the quarterfinals.
The Beermen, who got derailed by Barangay Ginebra emphatically, 110-84, Sunday night, are still in a good spot to land in the Top 2 as they are only half-a-game behind current second placer Alaska (6-3). But a win against the Road Warriors would be essential.
Otherwise, NLEX and Ginebra will overtake them and they will fall from third to fifth should they lose a second straight game and the Road Warriors win a second in a row.
The Elasto Painters, with a win, will move up regardless of the result of the first game. On the other hand, a loss for them will prove costly as they can fall out of the Magic 8 potentially, should NLEX pull off an upset against San Miguel.
NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said that his team’s defense need to be in-sync against the very talented San Miguel squad.
“We need to rely on our defense against San Miguel for us to have a chance at beating them,” said Fernandez, whose squad last defeated the Batang Pier Friday Night, 110-105.
Rain or Shine is looking for a more impressive performance against GlobalPort today compared to the one it had in its controversial 109-104 victory over Phoenix last Friday, whereina questionable offensive interference call against the Fuel Masters in the dying seconds with the game on the line helped the Painters escape.
“Ayaw naming ma-eliminate pero ayaw din namin maging No. 7 or 8,” said Guiao. “With two games left, against GlobalPort and Blackwater, our goal is to finish at No. 6, at the very least.”
Games Tuesday (Smart Araneta Coliseum):
4:15 p.m. – NLEX vs. San Miguel
7 p.m. – GlobalPort vs. Rain or Shine