By TITO S. TALAO
Manila, Philippines – Passage to the playoffs is at stake for Barangay Ginebra when the Kings take on the Talk `N Text Tropang Texters today in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Powerade, on the other hand, tries again.
One win separates the two teams and a loss for either at 6:30 p.m. could mean disaster owing to the win-loss proximity of seven of the lower eight teams in the standings.
Rain or Shine, playing Petron Blaze at presstime in the Phoenix Petroleum Road Tour at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Center in Dumaguete City, paces the field with a 6-1 record, while B-Meg ranks second at 5-2. Both teams have clinched slots to the carry-over semifinal round.
Seven teams are closely bunched with each other, however, and with only four berths left to be claimed, the battle has heat up among Powerade (4-3), Petron (4-3), Ginebra (4-3), TNT (3-3), Barako Bull (3-4), Meralco (3-4) and Air21 (2-5).
By picking up back-to-back wins, the Kings can join the Elasto Painters and the Llamados in the playoffs, but a Tropang Texters victory could doom their bid while lifting up the MVP franchise.
The Tigers, denied entry to the semifinals last Friday by an inspired Air21 Express, hope to make it this time when it tangles with Meralco Bolts at 4:15 p.m.
Five continues to be the magic number of wins for semifinal wannabes, with six teams making it and four getting the boot out.
So far, only the Alaska Aces have signed out of contention, their 90-81 loss to the Kings two days ago validating their departure at 1-7.
Siot Tanquingcen, the Kings coach, knows that no opponent is as dangerous as Talk `N Text, with its dervish guards and imposing frontline.
“They’re playing really good so we gotta play hard,“ Tanquingcen said. “We must not worry too much about what they’re capable of doing and just play Ginebra basketball. We’ll just let the chips fall in this rollercoaster ride.
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