by Waylon Galvez
Manila, Philippines – Grand Slam-seeking San Mig Super Coffee and Rain or Shine – the hottest team right now – resume their rivalry when they dispute one of the remaining twice-to-beat bonuses in the quarterfinal playoffs of the PLDT Home Telpad PBA Governors’ Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Only the top four teams at the end of the elims will earn incentives in the next stage of the conference, thus ensuring another heated showdown when the Painters and the Mixers mix it up at 8 p.m.
At the moment, only Talk ’N Text – with a 6-2 card – is assured of the bonus leaving San Mig Super Coffee, Rain or Shine, Ginebra, San Miguel Beer and Air21fighting for the three remaining slots.
The Kings, the Mixers and the Painters are tied at 5-3, while the Beermen and the Express finished their elimination round campaign with 5-4 records.
With a 4-4 record, Alaska has a slim chance of securing a bonus.
TNT and Ginebra are playing at press time with the Kings hoping to prevail to secure the second bonus.
Also playing at press time are Alaska and Barako Bull with the Aces hoping to emerge victorious to have a shot at the twice-to-beat advantage.
To determine which teams will get twice-to-beat, quotient system will be applied between the 5-4 finishers.
The positions of the teams, however, will be known after today’s lone game.
ROS and San Mig Coffee clashed twice in the finals with the Mixers winning their last title series during the Philippine Cup.
Revenge, of course, is on the mind of the Painters although it would be good for them not to think about it so they won’t be distracted.
The Painters are on a roll as they won their last four capped by a huge win against the Meralco Bolts (104-85).
San Mig Super Coffee is nursing a 92-88 setback to Talk ’N Text last Friday, and coach Tim Cone’s wards are expected to rebound from this defeat to get that crucial win going to the playoffs.
However, against a team that dropped its last game to the Tropang Texters, ROS coach Yeng Guiao expects that things will be a lot tougher since a win will guarantee a team a bonus
“We expect a tough game, both teams understand the importance of the game,” Guiao said. “A win will give the winner twice-to-beat, so that makes this game even more important, more exciting.”
“We’re ready for this game, we’re on a streak. We’ll try to bring in the momentum, we’re also coming in fresh and rested. We like our chances for this game,” added Guiao.
Expected to add color to the match is the battle of former Best Import winners – the Painters’ AZ Reid, who averages 29.25 and 13.38 boards per game, and the Mixers’ Marqus Blakely, who have 23 points and 18 rebounds per contest.