The 2018 Philippine Cup playoff primer
Paul Lintag on Mar 05, 2018 08:08 AM
The playoffs should be fun in the All-Filipino and we got everything you need to start the quarterfinals here.
While the elimination round of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup may have ended with a rather predictable result of San Miguel Beer being number one, there was intense action all over if you choose to look over the reigning three-time champions.
Magnolia, Alaska, and NLEX all proved that they could heat up at any moment and mak a serious run, however, they also proved that they could be vulnerable.
Ginebra and Rain or Shine were inconsistent at best but the potential to dominate is there.
TNT is uncharacteristically struggling, needing a playoff just to advance while Globalport is a huge wildcard with Terrence Romeo just returning from a long injury layoff.
Nevertheless, the playoffs should be fun in the All-Filipino and we got everything you need to start the quarterfinals here.
#1 San Miguel vs. #8 TNT, Beermen with the twice-to-beat advantage
In a titanic clash at the top of the playoff bracket, the only two Perpetual champions square off in the first round as San Miguel takes on rival TNT in the 1 vs. 8 matchup.
The Beermen took the early-season win over the KaTropa and enter the playoffs with an 8-3 mark.
And while the champs were hot to start their title defense, they kinda faltered late, struggling against Kia and losing to ROS in their final two games.
Meanwhile, the KaTropa have been struggling all season long before scoring two convincing wins to salvage their conference.
This rematch from last season's semifinals will not be your ordinary 1 vs. 8 pairing.
#4 Ginebra vs. #5 Rain or Shine, best-of-3 series
The first meeting between these two teams, which was just last Friday, ended in a triple overtime slugfest.
Safe to say this is going to be a close matchup, one that might even go the distance.
However, injuries may be a factor in this series as ROS will miss James Yap and Greg Slaughter is recovering from an ankle injury for Ginebra.
Still, there's enough star power from both teams that might as well make this one the best series of the first round.
You have to wonder as well just how many overtimes we'll get over the course of at least two games.
#3 Alaska vs. #6 NLEX, best-of-3 series
For a rather fresh playoff matchup, Alaska vs. NLEX sure has a lot of interesting sub plots.
First is the obvious one of course, Kiefer Ravena going up against Jeron Teng.
Second of all, you'd have to consider who can be the most annoying to the other team, Calvin Abueva or head coach Yeng Guiao?
Third, it's the fact the Aces have not beaten NLEX since last season. The Road Warriors are 4-0 against Alaska since the 2017 Philippine Cup.
Finally, the last time both teams met, NLEX almost blew a 30-point lead. There's unfinished business from both teams thanks to that previous meeting. This should be fun right?
#2 Magnolia vs. #7 Globalport, Hotshots hold twice-to-beat advantage
This will be our classic offense vs. defense matchup.
Magnolia's elite defense going up against the Batang Pier's explosive offense.
The good thing here is both teams also excel on the other end of the floor aside from their respective specialities.
The Hotshots can go off with Paul Lee at the helm while Global has picked up majority of its win in the All-Filipino by just shutting down opponents.
Who will win this battle of contrasting styles?
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