They’ll die for this one

March 23, 2019

TALK ‘N Text guns for a win that has the potential to propel itself to Top 2 right away in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The KaTropa play a dangerous North Port in the 4:30 p.m. opening tussle of an interesting doubleheader that will also pit San Miguel Beer against Alaska in the main offering at 6:45 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Last Friday, the KaTropa encountered some anxious moments but nevertheless survived the gritty challenge of Columbian Dyip for a 101—98 win.

It was TNT’s fifth straight win and seventh overall in 10 outings, and another win today will enable it to dislodge Rain or Shine in second place and wait for the outcome of Barangay Ginebra’s last three outings in the 11-game elimination.

The Elasto Painters finished the elimination with an 8-3 record good for second place which they will lose in the event the KaTropa prevail over the Batang Pier. That’s the effect of Rain or Shine’s loss to TNT in the elimination.

However, beating the Batang Pier today and dislodging the Elasto Painters in second place are not full guarantee of top two for the KaTropa. In fact, the danger of losing their grip of the second spot altogether lurks if Ginebra sweeps its last three games.

In the event of a Ginebra sweep, it is the Gin Kings who will end up the top two seed behind top seed Phoenix Pulse by virtue of being the highest in the tiebreak which will be used in case a three-way tie among RoS, TNT and Ginebra ensues.

Yesterday, the Gin Kings played NLEX in Petron Blaze Saturday Game Special in Angeles City — one of the three games the league’s most popular ballclub needs to corner in order to bolster its playoff bid.

That’s the beauty of having this win-once incentive — something that spices up the battle among the teams in the upper half of the standings.

The playoff incentive could serve as a shortcut towards reaching the semifinal round. That is, the top two teams need to win only once over their respective quarterfinal opponents to land spots in the best-of-7 semifinal series.

The Beermen meanwhile try to bounce back from a 96-93 loss at the hands of the Fuel Masters last March 16 as they take on an Alaska team that has halted a three-game slide last March 20 with a 92-77 thumping of Meralco.

Mere positioning and probably some momentum are what the Beermen will try to go for as they gun for their seventh win in 11 outings.