Two pivotal games that are bound to shape the landscape of the quarterfinals take place as four teams fight for berths in the homestretch of the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup elimination round.
GlobalPort (4-4) can close in on a spot in the next round with a win, but desperate Phoenix Pulse (3-6) stands in its way as the two figure in a crucial bout at 4:30 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Equally crucial is the 7 p.m. tussle between Columbian Dyip (4-5) and Barangay Ginebra (3-5) in the main event.
All four teams are facing must-win situations as a win can propel the victors closer to the post-season while the unlucky losers will be sent on the brink of elimination.
Fresh off an impressive triumph the last time out, the Batang Pier looks to build on their momentum to inch closer to a berth in the quarters, while prolonging Phoenix’s agony.
GlobalPort stunned San Miguel Beer, 98-94, last week to boost its chances.
“We had a good win against San Miguel, it’s crucial since we’re fighting to remain in the top eight. I hope we can get another one against Phoenix. We still need it,” said GlobalPort coach Pido Jarencio.
Currently, the Batang Pier are tied with the Beermen for fifth place, but isn’t out of the woods yet.
On the contrary, the Fuel Masters just can’t seem to get a break, having lost four in a row with the last at the hands of league-leader Rain or Shine, 108-106.
Also, Phoenix will no longer have gunner Jeff Chan, who was swapped to the Gin Kings just last Monday for a first-round pick in the coming draft.
With Chan now in its tow, Ginebra shoots for a third straight win, but is wary of dangerous Columbian Dyip as both teams are coming off wins.
“We’re a little more comfortable now and Jeff will fill a big role for us,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “We have no margin for error and we know Columbian is capable. We need to win our remaining games.”
The Gin Kings and Dyip are separated by only a half-a-game in the race to the top eight.
Columbian is at No. 8 and Ginebra at No. 9, currently.