Basketball

Alaska, Ginebra in crucial tiff; Meralco duels Barako

Games today (Araneta Coliseum)
5:15 p.m. Ginebra vs. Alaska
7:30 p.m. Meralco vs. Barako Bull

Alaska and Barangay Ginebra battle for a crucial win that could determine their fate in the 2011-12 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Kings and the Aces meet in the opener at 5:15 p.m. while Meralco and Barako Bull collide also in an important tussle at 7:30 p.m.

At 3-7, Alaska needs to win as many games as it can to move up in the standings while Ginebra, although at 4-5, must also start winning to avoid a difficult situation in the next round.

After the eliminations, the two lowest ranked teams will be eliminated and Shopinas (0-11) is most likely the first team to go.

The Aces are tied with Powerade while the Kings are in solo 7th spot and if the quarterfinal round starts today, they will face the No. 2 team which will hold a twice-to-beat advantage.

“It’s a huge game tomorrow. It’s a potential make-or-break [game] for this tournament,” said Ginebra co-head coach Siot Tanquingcen whose team is coming off an 88-76 loss to BMEG.

Alaska is on a mini-run, winning its last two games to revive its quarterfinal bid.

But the Aces know that they will be facing a team that is also in a must-win situation.

“Ginebra is struggling like us. Whichever team can find a good rhythm at the start will dictate the flow of the game,” said head coach Joel Banal.

“This is our third game in six days so we have to be smarter in playing against them because we know what Ginebra is capable of,” he added.

In the nightcap, the Bolts of head coach Ryan Gregorio are eyeing a better spot in the next round and they need to get more wins to achieve that.

“Every game is important for us. We can’t be complacent knowing that a loss can drop your standing while a victory can push you up in the leaderboard,” said Gregorio as his wards  are tied with B-MEG for fifth spot with 6-4 win-loss marks.

“The goal for us is to continue climbing up the ladder,” he added.

The Energy of coach Junel Baculi are carrying a 5-4 win-loss slate and are coming off a 75-66 loss to Petron Blaze.

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