Meralco plays its last game in the elims, hoping it won't be the last in the tourney.
The Bolts, however, must hurdle a tough obstacle in the Barangay Ginebra Kings for a shot at a possible playoff crack at the eighth and last berth in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.
Game time is at 7 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday with Kings, for their part, merely fighting for pride and positioning in the best-of-three quarterfinals.
The Kings have been eased out of the fight for the Top Two. At 6-3, the best they can get is No. 3 seeding in the playoffs if they sweep their last two games in the single-round-robin elims.
But Ginebra is assured of a spot in the pair of best-of-three quarters series even if they split or drop their last two matches.
Needing to win badly are the Bolts who are in a tight bind at 3-7. They must beat the Kings to gain a piece of eighth place at the close of the elims.
Even then, the Bolts are not automatically assured of a playoff because of a possible multiple logjam at No. 8. Tournament format calls for just a single playoff for No. 8, meaning the quotient tiebreak system will come into play.
Going into the final two play dates of the tourney, still fighting to qualify for the quarters are Alaska Milk (4-6), NLEX (4-6), NorthPort (3-6), Columbian Dyip (4-7) and Meralco (3-7).
Alas, the Bolts have to squeeze themselves into the playoffs with a badly crippled crew minus injury-hit veterans Ranidel de Ocampo and Jared Dillinger.
Meralco coach Norman Black said they would come out and try to dish out their very best.
Ginebra is also determined to stay on a roll to keep momentum going into the playoffs.
The Kings can catch up with the Elasto Painters at 8-3 with a sweep of the Bolts and the NorthPort Batang Pier. In that scenario, Ginebra will still settle for No. 3 as they were beaten by ROS, 80-83, in a road tussle in Calasiao, Pangasinan on Jan. 26. (SB)