Katropa try to keep hot surge

March 21, 2019
Rome dela Rosa
Rome dela Rosa of Magnolia tries to shake off Bradwyn Guinto of Globalport in the first quarter of their game which the Hotshots won. (PBA Images)

TALK ‘N Text takes on Columbian Dyip today, looking to sustain its late surge in the PBA Philippine Cup now in its most crucial yet interesting part in the elimination round at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The KaTropa meet the Dyip in the 4:30 p.m. opening tussle of a doubleheader as they go for one of two victories they must pull off in order to bolster their chances for win-once incentives rewarded to top two teams after the 11-game elimination.

Phoenix Fuel has already secured the top seeding after finishing with the best record of 9-2 (win-loss) slate.

The other Top 2 slot is a toss-up among Rain or Shine which has finished its elimination campaign with an 8-3 record, the KaTropa and the Barangay Ginebra, assuming the two teams (Talk ‘N Text and Ginebra) sweep their remaining games in the elimination.

The KaTropa are toting a 6-3 card and the Gin Kings 5-3, and both are in contention for the playoff bonus. The KaTropa have two more games to play, including against the Dyip today, and versus North Port on Sunday while the Gin Kings have three more games left— versus NLEX on Saturday, Meralco on March 27 and North Port at the close of the elimination on April 3.

If the KaTropa sweep their last two outings, that would be alright provided, the Gin Kings drop at least one of their last three games. That means they (KaTropa) will end up tied with the Elasto Painters whom they defeated already (100-92), and by virtue of winner-over-the-other rule they will become the second best team in the elimination.

With still four more playing dates left in the elimination, another possibility that could still ensue is a three-way tie among the Gin Kings, Ka Tropa and the Elasto Painters – a situation that will favor the Gin Kings, who will emerge as one of the top two teams by virtue of having the highest quotient in the tiebreak.

This means the Gin Kings would not be happy seeing the KaTropa drop one of their last two outings. If that happens, the Gin Kings will still fall short in their goal even if they sweep their last three games.

In other words, a sweep by Ginebra alone is no guarantee at all for the Gin Kings because the Elasto Painters had already defeated them, 83-80.

The KaTropa have won their last four outings, putting them solidly on course for a coveted top two finish and coach Bong Ravena said his charges do not have any plans of deviating from that target, not at this crucial point.

“Every game is very important for us because we have a chance na maka-top two,” said Ravena. “Kaya every opportunity na dumating we have to grab it.”

Ravena is specially cautious with the Dyip whom he said they cannot take lightly.

“Defense, ball pressure. We cannot take the game lightly. It’s still a must-win game,” said Ravena

Magnolia, meanwhile, tries to improve further its standings but will have to deal with a Blackwater team whose being stranded at the bottom with 2-8 record makes the Elite just as dangerous as any team can be.