THE 2020 PBA Philippine Cup bubble battle in Pampanga continues.
Two more twice-to-beat teams — No. 2 Phoenix Super LPG and No. 3 Talk N Text — seek outright semis berths when they battle lower-ranked quarterfinal rivals starting at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Center.
Phoenix, which finished No. 2 in the elimination, will take its first crack at the semis when it meets dangerous Magnolia in what could be another tight battle at the bubble.
But the Fuel Masters , who won their last four games to clinch the No. 2 seed and a twice-to-beat incentive, know the 6:45 p.m. encounter against the Hotshots will not be easy.
“Getting No. 2 is just a by-product of what we’ve worked for,” said Phoenix coach Topex Robinson.”We’re just excited for the quarterfinals.”
Magnolia is riding on a six-game winning streak and a win tonight could forge a deciding game in the battle for a semis berth.
“Magandang laban iyan. Disadvantage lang namin, sa tingin ko, twice-to-win kami. Pero iyon lang,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
“Kung sino makapag-execute ng maayos, mas malaki ang chance na manalo,” added Victolero.
Expected to lead the way for Phoenix are Matthew Wright, Jason Perkins, Justin Chua, RJ Jazul and the comebacking Calvin Abueva .
Magnolia will pin its hopes on Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon, Chris Banchero, Rome dela Rosa, Rafi Reavis and Jackson Corpuz.
After giving main gunner Jayson Castro a rest in their final elimination round assignment, the Tropang Giga are expected to come in full force when they meet unpredictable Alaska.
The Tropang Giga, who defeated the Aces, 100-95, in their bubble opener on Oct. 11, need only to win again today to book a ticket to the best-of-five semifinals.
Castro, Ray Parks, Troy Rosario, Simon Enciso and Rogey Pogoy are ahain expected to lead the fight for the Tropang Giga.
The Aces need to win two in a row to make it to the next round, and veteran Vic Manuel hopes they can get the job done.
Manuel, who failed to finish their last game against the NLEX Road Warriors last Monday due to tightness on his knee, vowed to give his best in the must-win game for the Jeffrey Cariaso-mentored Aces.
“He’s our main guy. We need him,” said Cariaso, referring to the 6-4 power forward who averages of 15.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists for Alaska.
(AUF Sports Center)
4 p.m. — Talk N Text vs Alaska
6: 45 p.m. — Phoenix vs. Magnolia