(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. -- Meralco vs. Mahindra
7 p.m. -- Star vs. Alaska
THESE four teams made a good account of themselves last conference. Too bad, all of them are struggling in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Meralco, Mahindra, Star Hotshots and Alaska are all left stranded at the bottom of the standings, needing every win they could get to keep their chances in the quarterfinal round.
Of the four, it is the Bolts who are in sticky situation this conference that is in utterly sharp contrast to their stint in the season-ending Governors’ Cup where they were finalists.
Here, the Bolts have been mired near the bottom at 2-5, after losing their last four outings since winning over sister team Talk ‘N Text, 98-87, last Dec. 9.
A team needs at least five wins to make the 8-team quarterfinal round, which means all of today’s protagonists have handsome chances.
The Bolts take on cellar-dwelling Mahindra in the first game at 4:15 p.m. while Star Hotshots and Alaska square off in the main tussle at 7 p.m. as the cutthroat elimination round enters its crucial phase today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Bolts ended 2016 on a sour note, losing badly to San Miguel Beer, 101-86, last Dec. 28 in a skid that went unabated after they tumbled to Globalport last Jan. 6, 97-89.
The Floodbusters, who had a good start in the last Governors’ Cup, have lost their first five outings, and managing to barge into the win column only after beating Blackwater, 97-93, on Christmas Day at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
At 1-5, the Floodbusters need no less than a sweep of their five outings, including against Meralco today, Talk ‘N Text, Alaska, NLEX, and Star Hotshots.
Beaten by Barangay Ginebra on Christmas Day, the Star Hotshots will try to rebound from that tough loss as they take on an Alaska team that’s similarly in search of more wins to bolster their chances.
Like the Hotshots, the Aces are going into the game looking to rebound from last Dec. 23’s 109-100 loss to the Tropang Texters.
The good thing about the Hotshots and the Aces is that the two teams are still within the Magic 8, as they are tied for 7th and 8th places, in that order, at 3-3.