Kings eye top 4 finish, q’finals edge

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    GINEBRA has two cracks at clinching a top four finish in the PBA Governors Cup eliminations and getting a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

    The Kings intend to get the job done right away when they collide with dangerous Columbian tonight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    Currently in a three-way tie for seventh, the Dyip are gunning for an outright seat in the quarterfinals but would only hit that target if they snap a two-game slide and win.

    A loss will relegate Columbian into a tie for the eighth and last spot in the next round, which would be resolved by quotient in case of multiple ties or a simple one-game playoff.

    Ginebra has no such problem. Actually, the Kings can afford to lose as long as they win over NorthPort at the end of their eliminations campaign on Sunday.

    Even if the perennial crowd darlings wind up with a 7-4 slate and get tied by either or both TNT and San Miguel Beer at 7-4, the Kings will still secure third by virtue of their earlier wins over the KaTropa and Beermen.

    But that’s an iffy proposition at best and Ginebra knows it cannot afford to lose its last two games as it would completely miss out on that quarterfinals bonus.

    “Kailangan makuha na namin iyung bonus sa Columbian game pa lang,” said Ginebra skipper LA Tenorio.

    “Mahirap kasing iasa mo sa next game na lang,” added Tenorio. “Basta kung ano nasa harap trabahuhin agad.”

    Phoenix Pulse and Blackwater, both out of the race, clash in the opener with each trying to end its season on a winning note.

    The winner of the match avoids a dead-last finish in the season-ending conference, a far humbler reward than what they expected but got foiled immediately when they couldn’t get their campaign really going.

    Still, the fight is far from gone as both Phoenix and Blackwater try to move forward
    “We would still try to go for that win,” said Fuel Masters coach Louie Alas, whose team formally got booted out of the race for the eight-team quarterfinals when it lost a narrow 102-105 decision to Alaska only last Wednesday, its fourth straight loss.

    Blackwater has the same intent even though it is already assured of the top overall pick in next month’s draft whatever spot it ultimately finishes in.