A lot can still happen in the chase for the four remaining quarterfinals slots at stake as the elimination round of the PBA Governors’ Cup eliminations draws to a close Friday, March 11 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Meralco and TNT have an inside track of not only securing the quarters berth but also the twice-to-beat advantage while Phoenix Super LPG and NorthPort need to win as well in order to keep their campaigns alive in the season-ending conference.
The last doubleheader before action intensifies will pit Meralco against Phoenix Super LPG in the first game at 3 p.m. followed by an intriguing battle between TNT and NorthPort at 6 p.m.
Here’s the scenario of the teams that will see action:
MERALCO BOLTS (6-4)
Win: The Bolts secure the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals as the No. 4 seed regardless of the outcome of the Tropang Giga-Batang Pier match.
Loss: Meralco will no longer be in contention for a twice-to-beat but will gain a quarters berth with a TNT win over NorthPort. The Bolts may also drop to a playoff for No. 8 with the Alaska Aces if the margin would allow Fuel Masters and Batang Pier to move up the tiebreaking quotient.
TNT TROPANG GIGA (6-4)
Win: TNT will clinch a quarters berth and the twice-to-beat advantage as the No. 3 seed regardless of the outcome of Meralco’s match against Phoenix. TNT holds a win-over-the-rule edge over SMB while having the largest quotient in the event the two squads are joined by Meralco in a tie for third at 7-4.
Loss: A Meralco defeat secures TNT the No. 4 spot and twice-to-beat advantage, provided it won’t lose to NorthPort by 28 points, allowing Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to snatch the quarterfinal bonus. The twice-to-beat will no longer be in play for TNT with a Meralco win. There’s also a mathematical possibility of dropping to a playoff for No. 8 with Alaska in the event TNT’s margin of defeats is as big as the number of days in a month.
PHOENIX SUPER LPG FUEL MASTERS (5-5)
Win: The Fuel Masters must beat the Bolts by at least two points to avoid falling to a playoff for No. 8 in the event of a six-way tie at 6-5 with a Tropang Giga loss to the Batang Pier. Phoenix will secure a quarters berth if NorthPort falls short against TNT
Loss: Phoenix faces NorthPort in a playoff for No. 8 if the latter loses to TNT. The Fuel Masters will be eliminated, however, if the Batang Pier prevails over the Tropang Giga.
NORTHPORT BATANG PIER (5-5)
Win: NorthPort advances to the quarterfinals if Phoenix falls short against Meralco, but could possibly reach the quarters or play Alaska in a playoff for No. 8 with a win over TNT coupled with a Phoenix victory against Meralco.
Loss: The Batang Pier face the Fuel Masters in a playoff for No. 8 if the latter is defeated by the Bolts or eliminated from the quarterfinals. But a Phoenix win will end NorthPort’s campaign.
IMPACT ON SAN MIGUEL BEER, GINEBRA AND ALASKA
San Miguel: The Beermen are pinning their hopes on at least seeing the Bolts or Tropang Giga lose their matches to claim the twice-to-beat. Otherwise, they’ll end up needing to win twice, possibly against either team.
Ginebra: The defending champions have a slim chance at the twice-to-beat if a six-way tie at 6-5 occurs. But that would only happen if the Tropang Giga, as mentioned, lose by 28.
Alaska: The Aces will likely finish no higher than seventh but can drop to a playoff for No. 8 if the always-mentioned logjam at 6-5 between them and five other squads.