Given a lifeline by the turn of events in the windup of the elims, a grateful defending champion Barangay Ginebra and Phoenix Super LPG take one last crack at the disputed eighth spot in the 46th PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals Saturday in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Gametime is at 4:35 p.m. at the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym with the Gin Kings and Fuel Masters determined to pounce on their fresh opportunity to make the playoffs against a waiting No. 1 and twice-to-beat TNT Tropang Giga (10-1).
“We’ve been given an unexpected reprieve so we want to do our best and take advantage of it,” said Ginebra coach Tim Cone.
The Gin Kings failed to gain outright entry after dropping a 66-79 setback to No. 2 Meralco Bolts in their final elims assignment Thursday afternoon for a 4-7 win-loss card.
This result sent Cone and Co. to the brink of early ouster while allowing Phoenix (also with 4-7) to grab a seat in sudden death for No. 8 against either Terrafirma (4-7) or Ginebra, depending on whether or not Alaska will finish with four wins after the Aces’ final outing versus NorthPort.
The Batang Pier left the Aces stuck with three victories for 11th place after a 122-94 demolition Thursday night. This led to a three-way for No. 8 and after applying tiebreak, Phoenix took first position and Ginebra second, leaving the lowest-ranked Dyip out of the playoff for the last berth.
“The No. 8 spot won’t be given to us. We have to earn it,” said Phoenix mentor Topex Robinson, whose team was almost counted out after falling to San Miguel, 80-110, last Sept. 17.