TWO more games with big implications in the race to the quarterfinals are set to take place in the resumption of the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
The Blackwater Elite (5-4) and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (4-4), teams in the middle of the pack, try to avoid possible elimination and enhance their chances of securing a berth in the quarterfinals when they battle at 7 p.m.
In the opening game Rain or Shine (5-3) aims to retake sole possession of second place as it plunges to action against cellar-dweller Meralco (2-7), which is fighting for survival, at 4:15 p.m. at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City today.
Only the top eight teams after the elimination round will go on to the playoff while four others at the bottom are set to have an early vacation.
The top two teams will have a twice-to-beat incentive against the lower ranked teams while the middle teams will play a best-of-three series in the next phase.
The Elasto Painters are hoping they can finish in the top two and a win today will push them back to solo second.
They are currently tied with GlobalPort (5-3) for second and third.
Rain or Shine is looking to bounce back against the Bolts from its 101-107 defeat at the hands of pace-setting San Miguel last week.
On the other hand, Meralco will be fighting for dear life as it is looking to end its six-game slide. A loss formally eliminates the Bolts from contention.
The Elite was able to pull off one of its biggest wins of the tournament, surviving Alaska, 103-100, last Sunday in an intense game and it now looks forward to following it up against Barangay Ginebra.
“We will again play in a situation where we need to get a win,” said Blackwater coach Leo Isaac.
The Gin Kings, who are having an inconsistent campaign up to this point, have a positive vibe going after they were able to nip the Bolts, 83-72, in Iloilo last Saturday.
“Right now, we’re just trying to get back into contention. We want nothing more than finish the elimination round as strong as possible,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
The winner between Ginebra and Mahindra will move a step closer to securing a top eight finish and entry to the next round.