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PBA -- Four Teams a Win Away from Quarterfinal Berth


PhilBoxing.com


Four teams -- Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok, Barangay Ginebra, Alaska and Phoenix ? are a victory away from the magic 8 wins to advance to the quarterfinal round and the twice-to-beat incentive as the PBA Governors? Cup entered the homestretch with only five more playing days remained of the elimination round.

Coach Louie Alas? Fuel Masters rallied from as many as 16-point deficit on Wednesday to subdue a collapsing Rain or Shine side, 103-97, and join the Hotshots, the Kings and the Aces with at least seven triumphs, one shy of the much-sought after number although their 7-3 win-loss slate was still half-a-game inferior to the identical 7-2s off the pacers.

But half-a-game ahead though of the Blackwaters Elite?s 6-3 record.

The Hotshots, however, can separate themselves from that three-way logjam and formally lay claim to the first Final Eight spot with a win against Talk ?N Text on Friday at the Henares Spots Center in Antipolo City.

San Miguel Beer threw away several double digit leads before virtually eliminating NorthPort Batang Pier, 114-107, as the four-straight Philippine Cup champions continued threatening those that would end up the at the tail end of the five-team league-leaders, particularly the Fuel Masters and the Elite that the race isn?t over yet.

With their 5-4 card, the Beermen definitely still possess what it takes of collecting two more wins and tie or even overtake those which will fail to improve on their current win-loss slates.

The slow-starting Beermen, who lost four of their last six games, only have the Elasto Painters (2-6) and th Meralco Bolts (4-6) to reckon with before ending their elimination round campaign.

SMB and RoS collide on Saturday in Binan City where Blackwater will be trying to get its seventh win against Columbian Dyip

The Kings and the Hotshots still have to play each its other on Sunday, the same day the Aces battle Batang Pier at the Quezon City Big Dome.

Another matchup bear watching is the Phoenix-Blackwater setto ending the elimination round on November 4 in what could decide the two teams? and that of SMB.

On the same day, the Kings, on the other hand, take on the TnT Katropa, who, like Meralco and NLEX are struggling to remain in the tp 8.

So, fasten your seatbelts folks for the race for the quarterfinal seats might have finally shaped up. The battle for positioning hasn?t.

Tournament format calls for the no. 1 after the elims play the no. 8 team; no.2 vs no. 7; no. 3 vs no. 6; and no. 4 against no. 5. Thus, making each team?s standing could be vital in their campaign for the semis berths and, eventually the Finals.

Four teams landing at the bottom of the 12-team standing take an early vacation and wait for the league?s 44th season.



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


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