4 teams fan flickering playoff hopes

4 teams fan flickering playoff hopes

Magnolia, Northport, Alaska and Meralco has to win their lingering games to endure their playoff bids in this week’s Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup action at the Araneta Coliseum.

An overtime loss of 93-97 to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday, the Hotshots face on the Batang Pier in the first of their last three must-win games at 7 p.m.

Magnolia is allocating the eighth to ninth spots with the Aces with similar 3-5 win-loss record. Both teams have to post six victories at the end of the 11-game elimination round to settle a quarterfinal berth.

“I think for both teams, it is a do-or-die or crucial game. This is going to be a tight game and I think our backs are against the wall,” stated Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.

“We cannot afford to lose so we have to play with a proper mindset and be consistent in what we’re doing right,” said Victolero.

Northport, at No. 11 with a 2-5 win-loss record, pursues to end a five-game losing skid and snatch the last playoff slot with four games remaining in the elimination round.

“We have to start winning,” cited Northport coach Pido Jarencio in Filipino. “There’s still a big opportunity for us to get into the playoffs, but I know Magnolia will play very hard because they were also coming from a loss. I think our second group should also step up and take it one game at a time.”

Alaska (3-5) and Meralco (3-6) are also battling for survival in the 4:30 p.m. opening game. As the Aces are coming off a third straight loss while another defeat will remove the Bolts.

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