Thursday, March 22, 2012
TIGERS, ACES PRESS PLAYOFF BIDS
Entering the final week of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup elimination round, Powerade and Alaska fight for an outright playoff crack at the last quarterfinals seat.
The Tigers and the Aces collide at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum both chasing
victory No. 5.
The Tigers are out to stoke the fire of their big win over the Air21 Express Sunday while the Aces hope to recover from a blowout at the hands of the B-Meg Llamados a week ago.
A brief ceremony retiring the Powerade jersey of Kenneth Duremdes spices up the game. Curiously,
Duremdes spent his best years in his PBA career with Alaska, earning an MVP award as an Ace in 1998.
The playoff race has been so exciting that not a single team has formally clinched a playoff berth. Neither a single team has been knocked out with only four playdates left in the elims.
Complications abound with only the Talk n Text Tropang Texters and the B-Meg Llamados almost there in the playoffs with five wins each.
Powerade and Barangay Ginebra are right behind the frontrunners at 4-3, followed by Alaska and
Barako Bull at 4-4, Air21 at 3-4 then Rain or Shine, Meralco and Petron Blaze at 3-5.
Coaches Bo Perasol and Joel Banal, however, said they want their teams to be focused only on their task at hand.
The Aces are determined to close out their elims stint at 5-4 and see where they end up.
On a swashbuckling ride from last conference, the Tigers can have a shot at an outright semifinal berth with a sweep of their last two games versus the Aces and the Llamados.
“We can’t be distracted with so many possibilities. We just want to focus on getting a crucial
win. We will definitely be undersized as compared to Alaska, but we will find a way to compete,”
“We have no other choice but to go all out to win this game,” said Banal.
The Aces need to win to avoid complication of ties for the sixth and last slot in the quarterfinals.
Any tie for the sixth spot will be resolved by one playoff game, meaning quotient will be a crucial factor in the race. (SB)