PBA: Beermen eye quarters, Bolts look to just hang on

Team Standings W L

X-TNT KaTropa 7 1

X-NLEX 6 1

San Miguel 5 2

Meralco 4 2

Ginebra* 3 2

Columbian 4 4

Magnolia 3 4

NorthPort 3 4

Blackwater* 2 5

Rain or Shine* 2 5

Phoenix Pulse 2 6

Alaska* 1 6

X-clinched quarterfinals berth

*-playing at presstime

Games Sunday

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)

4:30 p.m. — Magnolia vs Columbian

6:45 p.m. — Meralco vs San Miguel

Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beer seeks a quarterfinals berth while Meralco tries to keep its firm grip on fourth spot when they square off in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

San Miguel's Dez Wells (left) celebrates with teammate Kelly Nabong in the PBA Governors' Cup against Magnolia at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, October 11, 2019 (Rio Deluvio)

San Miguel’s Dez Wells, left, celebrates with teammate Kelly Nabong in PBA Governors’ Cup (MB File Photo / Rio Deluvio)

The Beermen and Bolts meet in the second game at 6:45 p.m. as the two squads look to stay in the top four in order to enhance their playoff chances in the season-ending conference.

San Miguel is currently in third place with a 5-2 record after falling short against NorthPort 127-119 last Wednesday while Meralco is in fourth at four wins and two defeats, playing its first game since defeating Blackwater 99-94 nine days ago.

Meralco is tied with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel after the latter’s 98-89 win over Rain or Shine Saturday night at the Big Dome.

Columbian and defending champion Magnolia meet in the 4:30 p.m. opener that also has implications in the race to secure the remaining six quarterfinal slots.

Meralco's Allen Durham drives past Blackwater's Rabeh Al-Hussaini in the PBA Governors' Cup at Ynares Center in Antipolo, October 18, 2019 (MB Photo / Rio Deluvio)

Meralco’s Allen Durham drives past Blackwater’s Rabeh Al-Hussaini in PBA Governors’ Cup at Ynares Center in Antipolo (MB File Photo / Rio Deluvio)

The Dyip play their second game in three days after a 106-104 triumph over the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters while the Hotshots hope to end a three-game slide that included a 105-83 defeat to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel last Sunday.

Getting a win will boost the bid of Columbian (4-4) to enter the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 Governors’ Cup while Magnolia (3-4) is keen on avoiding the danger zone.

Expected to carry the load for San Miguel and Meralco are Dez Wells and Allen Durham in a battle of features of one of the finest import debutants against one of veteran reinforcements left in the tournament.

Wells is coming off a 56-point explosion that went for naught as the Beermen were defeated by former teammate Christian Standhardinger and the Batang Pier.

His second 50-point output enabled Wells to raise his scoring average of 39.9 — tops among imports — with 8.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.

Durham, named Best Import in the 2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cup, remains a key figure for the Bolts with averages of 29.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks.

Meralco will parade new player Allein Maliksi and Raymar Jose, who were acquired from Blackwater in exchange for veteran KG Canaleta, third-year guard Mike Tolomia and two future second round draft picks.