ALASKA takes on NorthPort in a game between two teams desperately needing victories to pump life to their flickering playoff hopes in the PBA Philippine Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Aces found themselves on the edge after absorbing a 114-96 loss at the hands of San Miguel Beer last Sunday, but at 4-6 (win-loss), they nevertheless remain in eighth place.
Getting a notch higher in the standings will definitely be the object of the Aces in their 4:30 p.m. encounter with the Batang Pier, who are looking to sustain the momentum of their 109-83 thumping of Talk ‘N Text also last Sunday.
For the Aces, losing this one will definitely drop them out of the Magic 8, too bad for a team that finished second in the last Governors’ Cup.
But if they win, the Aces will climb to seventh place and clinch a spot in the next round.
The Batang Pier, who are toting 3-6 record, could still reach five victories which they could accomplish if they beat not only the Aces today but also Barangay Ginebra next Wednesday to advance to the next round.
The task is simply too daunting for the Batang Pier, but the good thing about their chances is that Stanley Pringle has been playing quite well and that could give NorthPort the needed lift in its last two outings.
Against the KaTropa last Sunday, Pringle tallied 27 points as he provided steady fires for the Batang Pier.
Barangay Ginebra, meanwhile, seeks to reduce its last two games to sort of preparation for playoff. The Gin Kings missed the top 2 despite their good run in the latter part of the elimination round.
“Since we’ve assured ourselves of a Top 6 finish, it’s now about preparing for the start of the playoffs,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
“We do that by making sure we play the right way and don’t let down on any areas of our game. Right now, we want to keep winning and sustain momentum,” added Cone.
The Gin Kings are on a roll with three straight wins capped by 105-96 spanking of NLEX last Saturday in Angeles City. They are now toting 6-3 win-loss slate.
“That’s the key for us. We know Meralco is still battling for a playoff spot, so we’re expecting a very tough battle against a team we’ve had many battles against in the recent past,” stressed Cone.