Beermen, Elite out to end skid

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    SAN Miguel Beer and Blackwater try to snap out of their funk when they collide today in the PBA Governors Cup at the Astrodome.

    Equally critical is the nightcap pitting Magnolia and Phoenix Pulse, with the Hotshots aiming to stay within sight of a top four finish and the Fuel Masters trying to keep their hopes alive of making the playoffs.

    First, however, Phoenix must put behind it’s sorry 104-106 loss to Columbian last Oct. 25, the Fuel Masters’ second straight loss.

    Still, Phoenix coach Louie Alas remained upbeat, saying: “ ‘Yung chances namin okay pa.

    “I mean, we just have to take care of our three remaining games. Iyun ang maganda, nasa kamay namin ang kapalaran namin sa playoffs,” added Alas, whose team takes on Alaska on Nov. 15 and Blackwater two days later.

    Adding to Alas’ guarded optimism is the fact Matthew Wright, who missed Phoenix’s last two games due to personal reasons, is back.

    “The hard thing is, Magnolia kalaban, the champion team last year,” Alas pointed out.

    The Hotshots are on a high after beating Columbian last Oct. 27, cutting short the defending champions’ three-game slide.

    Aside from Romeo Travis, Ian Sangalang and Paul Lee, Phoenix now also has to deal with do-it-all guard Chris Banchero, whom Magnolia recently acquired from Alaska.

    “Another very important game for us. Since we’re in the middle of the standings the game will be crucial for us,” said Hotshots coach Chito Victolero.

    “The addition of Banchero will help us a lot in terms of our execution and also iyung energy na maibibigay niya sa amin every time he’s on the floor.”

    The day’s curtain-raiser should also be a pivotal one. Fifth-running SMB not only wants to arrest a two-game slide but also aims to fan its hopes of finishing the eliminations among the top four and earn the twice-to-beat reward for the next round.

    Blackwater snapping out of its own four-game tailspin is its most immediate concern. But the Elite’s fate would still hinge on whether they could rack up another win against Phoenix next Friday.

    Should the Elite finish the elims with four wins they would play off for the eighth and last quarterfinals spot, providing all the other contenders finish with the same number of victories.

    In such a scenario, quotients will be used to break ties before determining the two teams that will dispute the last quarterfinals berth.

    That slim hope is good enough for Blackwater coach Aris Dimaunahan. “Basta we will give our best effort in our last game and then see where it takes us,” he said.

    For certain–and whatever situation it falls into–Blackwater has its sights on assimilating the new players it has recently acquired through trades.