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PBA: Ginebra vs Phoenix

Games Today
(Ynares Sports Center, Antipolo)
4:15 p.m. – Globalport vs Blackwater
7 p.m. – Ginebra vs Phoenix

For rookie coach Ariel Vanguardia of Phoenix, the final elimination round game against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel represents their ‘ultimate test’ as the Fuel Masters aim for an outright quarterfinal berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup today at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.

Only on its second conference in the PBA, Phoenix hopes to avoid going through a potential do-or-die to decide the No. 8 position.

“It’s the ultimate test to our young team,” said Vanguardia.

“We were very tight versus Alaska,” he said, referring to the Fuel Masters’ 103-87 setback that snapped a three-game win streak last Saturday at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.

“We were a step late and we could not get in our flow. We cannot afford to play catchup versus experienced teams,” added Vanguardia as his squad tackles Ginebra at 7 p.m.

Clashing in the first game of the double-header are Globalport (3-7) and Blackwater (1-8) at 4:15 p.m.

At the moment, Phoenix is locked in a three-way tie for sixth to eighth places with NLEX and Alaska on 5-5 win-loss records, and a win would give them a ticket to the quarterfinals.

A setback would complicate matters.

Rain or Shine, which is at ninth place with a 4-6 record, will battle Star (2-8) on Friday. A victory by the Painters could either give them automatic entry to the next stage or earn them a playoff game for the No. 8 spot.

If that happens, the playoff game for the No. 8 position would either be between RoS versus Phoenix or Phoenix opposite Alaska – depending on the outcome of the NLEX-Alaska game also on Friday.