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PBA: Beermen gain semifinals

SMB's June Mar Fajardo makes his move under the basket against Blackwater's Jason Ballesteros and Bryan Faundo during PBA second game action at Cuneta Astrodome.   Photo by Tony PIonilla

Games Tommrow (Cuneta Astrodome)
4:15 p.m.- NLEX vs Alaska
7 p.m. – Meralco vs Purefoods

Manila, Philippines – San Miguel Beer routed Blackwater, 91-62, last night at the Cuneta Astrodome to join Rain or Shine as outright semifinalists in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The quarterfinal playoffs kick off tomorrow, with Alaska, Talk ‘N Text, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco holding twice-to-beat advantages over matchup rivals Grand Slam champion Purefoods, Barako Bull, NLEX and Globalport.

With his team relegated to a twice-to-win situation and their bid to capture a fifth straight championship in jeopardy, Hotshots coach Tim Cone lashed out at the league’s quotient system rule for breaking ties.

“I’ve been very vocal in the past that I think it’s a great disservice to teams getting knocked out because of quotients,” he said. “I think it’s a bad rule, a bad setup. I think it’s a really unfair setup. The whole idea is to reward the best teams but you can’t determine it just by quotient. Quotient doesn’t decide who’s better, who’s worst. I hope in the future they think about it. I don’t know what we’re rushing for.”

The PBA Commissioner’s Office prepares several formats and schedules before each season, based on the parameters set by the league and the TVcoveror. The format is then submitted to the Board of Governors for their amendments and approval, presumably in consultation with their respective team owners and head coaches.

Only then is the official format, including the rules on breaking ties, implemented. It is uncertain whether any objections were raised when the format was presented, deliberated on, amended and approved by the governors during their off-season planning sessions.

Meanwhile, Meralco claimed the last twice-to-beat advantage by downing Globalport, 82-70, to tie Ginebra and Purefoods at 6-5.

Ginebra and Meralco finished fifth and sixth due to their higher quotient.

In the first game, Purefoods Hotshots welcomed the arrival of veteran Mick Pennisi by crushing the Barako Bull Energy, 99-83.

Though the big leap won’t translate to any significant advantage in the quarterfinal playoffs since the twice-to-beat advantage remains out of reach, the Hotshots nonetheless snapped a two-game losing slide, exiting the 11-game first round with a morale-boosting sixth win against five losses.

The Energy fell to 4-7 after seeing their two-game winning streak end. But they took ninth place ahead of the NLEX Road Warriors via the winner-over-the-other rule. With both teams needing two victories to move on to the next phase of the playoffs, NLEX will face the No. 3 team Alaska, while Barako Bull will take on the No. 4 squadTalk ‘N Text.

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Written by Johnny Lugay

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