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PBA: Ginebra, SMB eye QF bonus

Games Today
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:15 p.m. – San Miguel vs GlobalPort
7 p.m. – Ginebra vs Mahindra

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and San Miguel Beer hope to secure the twice-to-beat quarterfinal advantages as they go for their 9th wins in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Kings collide with the Mahindra Floodbusters at 7 p.m. while the Beermen go up against the Globalport Batang Pier at 7 p.m. at the close of the elimination round.

Ginebra and San Miguel – both toting similar 8-2 marks – need just to win today’s matches to clinch the bonuses.

Star is currently on top with a 9-2 mark – thanks to a 102-98 overtime win over Alaska Wednesday – but it will slide to No. 3 if both San Miguel and Ginebra hurdle their final assignments.

That’s because both SMB and Ginebra have superior quotients over their sister team.

Ginebra has a super coach in Tim Cone and a star-studded crew but the grizzled bench tactician is not taking Mahindra lightly.

“Needless to say, we really want that top seed. That makes our game against Mahindra crucial to us,” said Cone.

“That doesn’t mean that just because we want it we’re going to get it. You’re never given anything in our league – you always have to earn it. We’ll have to earn it with our hard work and execution. Nothing comes easy in the PBA,” added Cone, owner of PBA record 19 PBA titles.

Ginebra has won its last three games capped by a 90-89 win against Meralco last Sunday, but will face an inspired team having won its last two games.

San Miguel has also won its last two, including an impressive 124-113 win against Blackwater but it will have its hands full against the Batang Pier.

A setback by both SMB and Ginebra will give the Hotshots and the Kings the 1-2 spots and twice-to-beat advantages in the playoffs, while the Beermen will drop to No. 4 behind No. 3 TNT. If only one of them would win, it will get the top spot since both defeated Star in the eliminations.