How to survive the Philippine Cup's wild final elims playdate
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 01, 2017 09:38 AM
A wild finish is set up for the Philippine Cup but one thing is for sure, only Alaska and Star can claim the no. 2 spot behind San Miguel. The Aces have a slight edge though.
We'll finally get to find out which team gets the last twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals as the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup plays its last day of the elimination round Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
On deck for the first game at 4:15 p.m. are the Star Hotshots (6-4) and the also-ran Mahindra Floodbuster (3-7).
Obviously, this game has more meaning for Star because should the Hotshots win, they get to run the table with four straight victories and momentarily hold the no. 2 spot with a 7-4 mark.
Star then gets to go the quarterfinals as the no. 2 team outright if Alaska drops its last game.
Speaking of Alaska, the Aces (6-4) take the court at 7:00 p.m. against the reeling Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (5-5). Both teams have more than enough reasons to treat this matchup as a must-win as heavy playoff implications ride on this particular game.
Should the Aces win, they take over the no. 2 spot as they hold the tiebreaker against Star by virtue of their overtime win last January 11.
Alaska will also be doing Blackwater a solid by beating the Elasto Painters as an Aces win means there would be a playoff for number 8 between Rain or Shine and the Elite. A date against top-seed and two-time defending champion San Miguel Beer is at stake for the winner should that scenario happen.
While they no longer have a shot at number 2, the Elasto Painters would certainly want to break a three-game slide and enter the quarterfinals outright. Should they manage to beat the Aces, a best-of-three affair is waiting for ROS against the same opponent. Blackwater will also be eliminated by a Rain or Shine win.
Here is how the playoffs should look like for the teams concerned:
As long as Rain or Shine beats Alaska, the Hotshots are good to go for no. 2 even if they lose to Mahindra. The lowest they coud go though is third and their probable opponents for the quarterfinals are none other than the Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel.
The Aces couldn't care less about the Star-Mahindra tiff. All Alaska needs to do really is take care of business vs. the Elasto Painters and the no. 2 spot will fall right on their lap. However, should the Aces lose to Rain or Shine, they face the Elasto Painters again in a best-of-three quarterfinals series.
Rain or Shine
The Elasto Painters have quite a simple scenario if they pull off a victory against Alaska. Win and Rain or Shine sets up a rematch vs. the Aces in the quarterfinals. ROS is the 6th seed and Alaska is the 3rd seed. Lose though and they have to beat Blackwater just to make it to the post-season as number 8 where San Miguel will be waiting.
As for Blackwater, all they have to do is this: pray for Alaska to win.
Mahindra is not making the Philippine Cup playoffs. They could enter the offseason as winners of two straight games if they beat Star though, and winning is always nice.