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Mahindra looks to solidify playoff hopes

Games Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. – Mahindra vs Globalport
5:15 p.m. – San Miguel Beer vs Talk ’N Text
Games Tomorrow
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. – Barako Bull vs Star
5:15 p.m. – NLEX vs Ginebra

The Mahindra Enforcers will try to enhance their playoff chances when they tackle the Globalport Batang Pier in a crucial tiff as the battle for quarterfinal berth heats up in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s playoff atmosphere for us already, although we’re still fighting to get to that stage,” said assistant coach Chito Victolero.

“Every game, every win is important for us. That possibility of earning a playoff berth is still in our hands, we still dictate our destiny, and we’ll take advantage of that,” added Victolero.

The Enforcers lost to the Hotshots, 96-104, in their previous game last Sunday.

The game between Mahindra and Globalport is set at 3 p.m., while defending champion San Miguel Beer tries to extend its winning streak to seven as it takes on Talk ’N Text at 5:15 p.m. in the Petron Saturday Special.

SMB hopes to solidify as well its bid for outright semifinals and outdo Rain or Shine and Alaska for one of two outright spots. Playing as of press time are the Aces and the E-Painters where a win by coach Yeng Guiao’s troops will prevent the Alex Compton-mentored squad from gaining outright semis entry.

At the moment, only eight teams are assured of a spot in the quarterfinal round, as SMB (8-1) is joined by Alaska (7-1), Rain or Shine (6-2), Globalport (6-3), TNT (5-3), Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (5-4), Barako Bull (4-5) and NLEX (4-5).

The remaining three teams in contention for the last two spots in the playoff are Star (3-6), Mahindra (2-7) and Blackwater (2-7). Out in the playoff race is Meralco, which dropped to 1-9 following a 104-108 setback to Globalport last Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Blackwater’s 116-92 victory over Barako last night ties the Elite with their fellow expansion team Mahindra at 10th and 11th places.

Blackwater still has two games, against Star on Friday and opposite Mahindra on Dec. 20, the last day of elimination round in this season-opening conference before playoffs begin next week.

Victolero said they would just focus on the task at hand as they face a tough assignment in playing the Batang Pier powered by their 1-2 punch of backcourt tandem Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle.

“We’ll not worry on other teams. We also need to execute well on offense,” added Victolero, whose lead point guard LA Revilla is a doubtful starter due to groin injury.