Beermen step up bid for Top 2
MANILA, Philippines — Titleholder San Miguel Beer, back at the helm following a gripping drive for a Top Two finish in the eliminations as it goes up against slumping Blackwater in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome tonight.
The Beermen try to sustain the momentum of their grind-out win over the Hotshots in their last four games in the elims in chase of a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.
June Mar Fajardo and his teammates are fancied to nail win No. 7 in their 4:30 p.m. setto versus the Elite who struggled without a win in their last four outings.
The Beermen pace the field with a 6-1 card with the Alaska Milk Aces and the Magnolia Hotshots right behind them at 6-2. All these three teams are assured of a playoff round entry.
Blackwater is in a precarious spot along with Meralco at joint ninth at 2-5.
The Bolts play a virtual must-win game versus the NLEX Road Warriors at 7 p.m.
“I don’t have much to say that’s not obvious. It’s important that we play with energy and a sense of urgency and do whatever it takes to get a win,” said Meralco coach Norman Black.
The Bolts, the Governors Cup losing finalists, haven’t beaten a top-caliber team this conference, with their two wins coming at the expense of expansion ball clubs Blackwater and Kia.
The Road Warriors (3-4) have been doing better. And they’re upbeat coming from their 81-78 upset of the Barangay Ginebra Kings Saturday.
“We just put an effort and sheer determination and some breaks in the endgame,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao. “The important thing is we break our losing streak and we give ourselves a chance to be in the fight.”
NOTES: At press time, TNT forward Troy Rosario was still under observation at the Makati Med although results of his initial tests (X-Ray and CT scan) showed no serious damage incurred in his nasty fall in their game against Phoenix Wednesday. “There’s still dizziness from concussion, but it’s normal from such accident, according to the doctor. He’s able to eat which was good,” said TNT team manager Virgil Villavicencio. “The neurologist ordered a complete bed rest for five days, but once Troy feels okay, he can be discharged.” The Texters hope Rosario can recover in time for their crucial back-to-back games against Ginebra and GlobalPort Sunday and Wednesday.