By Jonas Terrado
The remaining weeks before the Holy Week is crucial for Rain or Shine as its bid for the second twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals could be derailed by Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and TNT KaTropa.
Rain or Shine was the first team to finish the eliminations by going 8-3 but there’s still a likelihood for either Ginebra or TNT to snatch the elusive bonus depending on the outcome of the final three weeks of the eliminations.
TNT KaTropa is at third at 6-3 while Ginebra is ranked fifth at 5-3, both squads currently on hot streaks.
Fourth-running San Miguel Beer is no longer in contention for a twice-to-beat after dropping to 6-4 with a 96-93 loss to Phoenix Pulse in Saturday’s game in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
The result gave Phoenix the top seed and the twice-to-beat edge in the quarters with a 9-2 card.
Coach Caloy Garcia and the Elasto Painters will need a TNT loss in order to seal the twice-to-beat in the quarters.
Rain or Shine holds the tiebreaker over Ginebra after an 83-80 win in Calasiao, Pangasinan last Jan. 26.
TNT can claim the twice-to-beat if it sweeps its final two games coupled with at least one Ginebra defeat in its remaining three matches due to a tiebreaker edge over Rain or Shine.
The KaTropa beat the Painters, 100-92, in their lone encounter last March 3 in Antipolo City.
A three-way tie with Rain or Shine and TNT will be beneficial for Ginebra as it will take the second twice-to-beat due to a superior quotient.
Ginebra defeated TNT, 90-79, during the season opener last Jan. 13 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
TNT will face the Columbian Dyip on Friday before closing out its elims against the NorthPort on Sunday while Ginebra tackles NLEX on Saturday, Meralco on March 27 and NorthPort on April 23.