Race for the quarters bonus heats up as Magnolia, Ginebra eye crucial wins

The race for the last twice-to-beat advantage heats up as Magnolia and Barangay Ginebra figure in a pair of crucial encounters against separate foes in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday, Nov. 27.

Magnolia's Chito Victolero and Ginebra's Tim Cone (PBA Images)

The Hotshots take on the playoff-seeking Meralco Bolts in the opening game at 4:30 p.m. while the Gin Kings tangle against the streaking NorthPort Batang Pier in the main event at 6:45 p.m.

Both of the matches are seen to impact both Magnolia and Ginebra’s quarterfinals bonus hopes as they are currently jockeying for position for the second seed of the standings.

Magnolia is currently at the second spot with an 8-2 record while Ginebra slips to the fourth place with a 7-3 slate following the stunning loss to NLEX last Friday.

A curious spectator, meanwhile, is Converge whose chances of getting the incentive will be directly affected by the results of the Sunday’s double-header as it currently sits at the third spot with an 8-3 record.

The Hotshots though have the inside track in the race as they only need to sweep their remaining two games to officially claim the second seed although it would be easier said than done especially facing up against the resurgent Bolts who have now won three straight games since the arrival of import KJ McDaniels.

That winning run revived the playoff hopes of Meralco which was languishing at the bottom of the standings earlier in the conference. McDaniels along with the return to health of some of the Bolts’ players in Aaron Black and Chris Banchero should pose problems to Magnolia.

Equally determined to get back on track though were the charges of Chito Victolero after absorbing its second loss in the conference at the hands of the top seed Bay Area behind explosive import Myles Powell.

Meantime, the Kings would also want to see the Bolts take the win in the first game as that would bode well to their bid for the twice-to-beat advantage.

Ginebra however will need to take care of its own business first against the surging Batang Pier who have also won three straight games behind the impressive performances from Will Navarro, Robert Bolick and import Prince Ibeh.

The Kings actually looked poised to seize the top seed of the standings heading into the final stretch of the eliminations but their hopes for the twice-to-beat edge were put in peril by the 120-117 overtime loss to NLEX.

Ginebra head coach Tim Cone will be leaning once more to the dynamic duo of Justin Brownlee and reigning MVP Scottie Thompson to put their title bid back on track.