By TITO S. TALAO
Games Today (Smart Araneta)
3 p.m. – Globalport vs Alaska
5:15 p.m. – Barako Bull vs Barangay Ginebra
Manila, Philippines – This will be like throwing Globalport and Alaska into a wringer: the winner steps out of the tub for a rinse and the loser gets flushed out through the drain.
Nothing less than the last playoff spot could be at stake when the Batang Pier and the Aces clash at 3 p.m. today in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Tied at 8th spot with 4-8 win-loss records, just one rung above the 10th-running Air21 Express (3-9), one game could spell the difference between moving on and signing off this conference.
And should the Express prevail over San Mig Coffee in their encounter Saturday, the quarterfinal placings could hit a snag as to who the No. 1 team will be facing in the knockout playoffs.
Ongoing at presstime in the Petron Blaze Saturday Special at the Mall of Asia Arena are the games pitting San Mig with Air21, and defending champion Talk ‘N Text with Rain or Shine.
The Aces were without a sprained Calvin Abueva when they first met the Batang Pier and had no answers to Sol Mercado (23 points), Terrence Romeo (21), Jay Washington (13) and RR Garcia (13) in a 94-84 Globalport victory on Dec. 13.
Abueva twisted his ankle during team practice and the Aces, who got a career-high 28 points from Jayvee Casio, failed to get anything much from Sonny Thoss (4 of 11 from the floor), Cyrus Baguio (4 of 14) and Dondon Hontiveros (0 for 4).
Fortunes may have switched sides this time.
Washington hurt his foot in Friday’s losing game against Petron Blaze and could be doubtful in this all-important match.
In the second game, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, which has three more games left in the elimination, hopes to solidify its hold of the No. 1 spot when it battles Barako Bull at 5:45 p.m.
The Kings defeated the Energy Cola also on Dec. 13 but only after getting a big scare, 85-79.
Barako bombarded Ginebra with 9 three-pointers, four from Mick Pennisi, and was actually within striking distance in the closing minutes before backup guard Eman Monfort hit an off-the-bench triple to spark the Kings’ final salvo.
Mark Caguioa had the flu and labored for only eight minutes. But Mac Baracael again stepped up big for the Kings, scoring 15 points with three 3-point shots. LA Tenorio missed all five triples he took but atoned for the inaccuracy with 4 of 7 from within to complement nine assists.
Late last Friday, Globalport ran out of ammunition during a fierce fourth quarter firefight with Petron Blaze, withering in the end, 98-87.
PETRON 98 – Santos 25, Lassiter 16, Lutz 13, Fajardo 12, Kramer 11, Cabagnot 10, Tubid 7, Deutchman 2, Ross 2, Lanete 0.
GLOBALPORT 87 – Belencion 21, Mercado 16, Nabong 15, Chua 9, Salvador 8, Garcia 8, Romeo 4, Menk 2, Salva 2, Najorda 1, Hayes 1, Washington 0.
Quarters: 20-22, 39-51, 68-68, 98-87