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News  


Magnolia eyes magic 8 win in pivotal date with Meralco


PhilBoxing.com


League-leading Hotshots Pambansang Manok takes on Meralco Friday night favoured to pick up its eighth victory and move into the threshold of gaining a twice-to-beat privilege going into the quarterfinal round of the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.

Toting a superior 7-win 1-loss card, the Hoshots, who have already gained entry to Round of Eight needing one or two more triumphs to enjoy he bonus, depending on what will happen in the remaining nine playing days of the 12-team series in this, the 43rd season-ending of the pro league.


And the way coach Chito Victolero’s charges won the last four of their assignments since suffering their lone defeat at the hands of Phoenix Fuel, 82-95 lat September 23, the Hotshots would, most-likely, accomplish their goal in their 7 p.m. date with the Bolts, whose 2-6 slate in 10th place makes them one of the strongest candidates for elimination from further contention.

A win for the Bolts, who, just four days ago had beaten sister team NLEX, 108-105, is not remote though.

Should an eighth victory wouldn’t suffice to accomplish the magic number, the Hotshots still have two more chances to do so although much harder against Talk ‘N Text on September 26 and against tough Barangay Ginebra on September 28.

That is as far as the race for the twice-to-beat privilege, which also involved four other teams at the top of the standing, is concerned.

For the lower half of the field where the rest, except for Columbian Dyip, are still fighting to survive, the fight is as muddled and can be decided, too, down the stretch.

These are second running Barangay Ginebras (7-2), Blackwater, third (6-2), Alaska, fourth (6-2) and Phoenix, fifth (6-3).

Slow-starting Rain of Shine, which was unsuccessful in its first four games, tries to maintain the momentum of a back-to-back surge when it meets Columbian Dyip at 4:30 in the hope of salvaging a berth in the Round of Eight.

The view at team standing at this stage, less than two weeks before the elimination round, lowered its curtain on November 4: T’NT, sixth (4-4), NLEX, seventh (5-5), San Miguel, eighth (3-4), Rain or Shine, ninth (2-4), Meralco, 10th (2-6), NorthPort, 11th (2-7) and Columbian, 12th (0-9).

The Katropa and the Beermen, meanwhile, travel to Calasiao, Pangasinan on Saturday both eyeing a win to boost their respective campaign before the league returns to Metro Manila on Sunday for a routine doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Stadium.

Blackwater and Alaska try to break a two-way tie between them for the third and fourth positions in the 7 p.m. main dish following a 4 o’clock duel between the Elasto Painters and the Bolts to decide which of them scores a third triumph.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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