March 18, 2018, 10:08 am
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Star out to boost top 4 bid

STAR’S chances of gaining inclusion among the top four in the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals hangs by the slimmest of threads.

But that wouldn’t stop the Hotshots from trying starting today when they tackle winless but still dangerous Kia at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Meralco tries to solidify its own bid for inclusion in the magic circle and a twice-to-win incentive in the next round when it tangles with another eliminated team in GlobalPort in the nightcap.

Running second, the Bolts will even overtake erstwhile victim and current leader Ginebra should they beat the Batang Pier and officially lay claim to the No. 1 seeding in the next round if they prevail over San Miguel Beer at eliminations end on Sunday.

Meralco coach Norman Black has said his team is wary of GlobalPort, knowing the Batang Pier would not just roll over and die since they want to end the season with a man-sized upset.

A win will give GlobalPort a ninth-place finish, ahead of Alaska, Phoenix and Kia while a loss relegates the Batang Pier to 10th behind the Aces.

Equally eager to bolster its own bid is Star, which saw its bid for a top four slot hamstrung by a three-game slide that led to a 1-4 stretch and a seventh-running spot.

A win over the Picanto and against NLEX on Sunday will give the Hotshots seven wins, which coach Chito Victolero said would not be enough.

“We need to win our remaining games, then iyung ibang teams matalo,” said Victolero, whose crew trails Ginebra, Meralco and TNT and NLEX.

“Wala na sa control namin, pero may chance pa if we take care of our end,” he added.

The prospects of Star getting left out of the top four and being saddled with a twice-to-win handicap surfaced when it lost to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Kings and Bolts. It snapped out of that funk with a victory over GlobalPort but lost to the KaTropa.

Now come the Picanto, who are coming off impressive performances despite losses to Alaska and, most recently, SMB.

“It’s still a very important game for us because of the standings and the placings. We just need to focus one game at a time,” said Victolero. 

“Kia is a dangerous team because there is no more pressure to play. They almost beat SMB so we just need to go hard, prepare hard, respect the game and respect our opponents in order for us to win this game.”
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