Globalport seeks its first-ever twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs when it battles league-leader Alaska today in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Batang Pier need to beat the Aces in their 4:15 p.m. duel to secure their first quarterfinal bonus since joining the league in 2012.
Since arriving in the pro ranks, Globalport lost all of its three quarterfinal appearances to Rain or Shine during the 2013 Governors’ Cup in the 2013-14 Philippine Cup and to Barangay Ginebra in this season’s Philippine Cup.
But Globalport has given itself a chance to go deep into the playoffs as it has posted six wins against four losses this conference, a franchise-record.
A seventh victory will give the Batang Pier the No. 4 seed in the playoffs plus the twice-to-beat advantage.
That possibility is what excites Globalport Coach Pido Jarencio.
“Siyempre malaking bagay kung may twice-to-beat ka sa quarterfinals. Ang maganda kasi nasa kamay namin ngayon. Manalo kami, kuha namin. Of course we’re excited,” said Jarencio, who made his return to his coaching role this conference after spending the last two conferences as a consultant.
But achieving such feat is easier said than done since Alaska is riding high from its 82-77 victory over San Miguel last Saturday in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
The win clinched the Aces, who improved to 8-2, the top spot in the playoffs regardless of today’s outcome, thus allowing themselves to relax a bit against the Batang Pier.
Jarencio, however, disagrees.
“Pero alam namin na kailangan pag-hirapan. Wala naman madali e, kailangan pagtrabahuhan. Lalo we’re up against a tough team in Alaska, so we expect a tough game,” he said.
Globalport is on a two-game win streak, beating NLEX (108-80) before outlasting Kia (102-94) last week.
Import Jarrid Famous has posted monster numbers for Globalport, including a 30-point, 37-rebound performance against Kia.
Terrence Romeo, rookie Stanley Pringle, Palestinian Omar Krayem have also been impressive for the Batang Pier.
Should Globalport lose, it will be a chance for defending champion Star a chance to steal the last twice-to-beat bonus as it is favored to beat hapless Blackwater in the second game at 7 p.m.
Star is currently tied for sixth place with Meralco at 5-5 after its 117-89 beating of Barako Bull two days ago.
Alaska, San Miguel (8-3) and Rain or Shine (7-4) gained the first three twice-to-beat incentives while Globalport, Barako Bull (6-5) and Star have also clinched playoff berths.
The remaining two playoff spots are being disputed by Meralco, Talk ‘N Text (5-6) and 4-6 teams Kia and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
In case of a two-way tie, winner-over-the other rule will take effect, while a tie by at least three teams will be resolved through a quotient system.