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PBA: Wild chase for QF bonus

Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel and Star are locked in a three-way battle for the two twice-to-beat incentives in the quarterfinals as the PBA Commissioner’s Cup enters the final two playdates of the elimination round.

At the moment, Ginebra and Star share the lead with identical 8-2 records with each having one game left in the elims, while San Miguel sits in third at 7-2 heading into its games tomorrow and Friday.

Of the three teams in the running, Ginebra appears to be in good position to secure the elusive bonus after a thrilling 90-89 victory over Meralco last Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

A win over Mahindra on Friday night would assure Ginebra a twice-to-beat, even if it settles for a tie for first at 9-2 with the Beermen and Hotshots because of a superior quotient.

San Miguel must beat Blackwater tomorrow and GlobalPort on Friday to assure itself of the twice-to-beat while Star needs a lot of help even if it wins over Alaska tomorrow because of an inferior quotient.

There’s a chance that a four-way tie at 8-3 would occur, joining TNT KaTropa which already completed its elimination round assignment. However, the KaTropa are no longer in contention for the twice-to-beat, thus in a predicament of having to play a best-of-three.

Adding the complication is the race for the remaining two slots in the quarterfinals, featuring surging GlobalPort, struggling teams Alaska and Phoenix and a desperate Mahindra squad.

Alaska and GlobalPort are tied for seventh and eighth at 4-6, Phoenix ended the elims at 4-7 while Mahindra is not far behind at 3-7.

Alaska and GlobalPort must beat their fancied rivals this week to complete the eight-team quarterfinal cast, or otherwise fall into the prospect of playing a playoff for the eighth seed in the event of ties.

Meralco is guaranteed of the No. 5 seed and a best-of-three series in the quarters after posting a 7-4 record, while Rain or Shine, the sixth team that clinched a quarters berth, could either be sixth or seventh, the latter seed placing the Elasto Painters in a twice-to-beat disadvantage.