Powerade tries to formalize its entry in the top six as it seeks an important win against Alaska in the main game of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The Tigers and the Aces meet at 7:30 p.m. with the latter also needing a win to at least gun for a playoff for the last quarterfinal seat.
In the opener, Air21 hopes to rebound from two straight demoralizing defeats as it takes on Meralco at 5:15 p.m.
According to PBA chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, Powerade just needs to win one more game to move into the next round and bring Talk ‘N Text (5-2) and B-MEG (5-3) along with them as these teams have superior quotients in case of ties.
But for coach Bo Perasol, their only concern now is to win the next game.
“We can’t be distracted with so many possibilities when we win or when we lose. We just want to focus in getting a crucial win,” said Perasol, whose team is coming off a 121-92 demolition of the Express that improved their mark to 4-3.
But the victory was also costly for them as backup center Alex Crisano got injured in that match and will be out for at least a month.
“We will definitely be undersized as compared to them but we will find a way,” Perasol added.
The Aces, who are coming off a disappointing 90-75 loss to the Tropang Texters, are holding a 4-4 win-loss slate and must win their final game in the eliminations to assure them of at least a playoff for a spot in the next round.
In the opener, the 3-4 Express try to bounce back from consecutive losses as they take on the Bolts who, at 3-5, are also in a must-win game to stay in the playoff race.
“Must win for us,” said Air21 mentor Franz Pumaren. “We should go back to our basics which is playing aggressive defense and try to execute our offense smartly.”
“There’s a small window of opportunity for us to make the playoffs,” Meralco head coach Ryan Gregorio admitted. “That small opportunity is dependent on our victory against Air21.”