Basketball

B-MEG, TNT look to advance to semis with quarterfinal wins

Top two seeds B-MEG and Talk ‘N Text hope to finish off their respective quarterfinal foes and go straight ahead in the next round of the 2011 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Holding a twice-to-beat incentive for finishing in the top two after the elimination phase, the Llamados and the Tropang Texters gun for the win that will secure them a spot in the semifinal round.

Talk ‘N Text, the defending All-Filipino champion, battles Barako Bull in the opener at 5:15 p.m. then No. 1 seed BMEG faces Powerade in the main tiff at 7:30 p.m.

The Llamados ended the initial round with an eight-game winning streak to steal the top spot from Talk ‘N Text though they were tied at 10-4 slate each. B-MEG ended up with a better quotient.

They will be facing the No. 8 seed Powerade, which won its last two assignments to cement a spot in the quarterfinal round.

“There’s a very little margin for error and Powerade, outside Ginebra, has been the hot team down the stretch of the conference so our assignment is especially tough,” said BMEG head coach Tim Cone.

“And it’s a short series, so we have to be sharp right at the get go,” he added.

Cone admitted that they can’t take Powerade lightly especially with Gary David, the league’s top scorer, and rookies JV Casio and Marcio Lassiter leading the Tigers in the game.

“Their young guys are really coming on strong and we’ve got some tough match-ups to deal with,” said Cone. “Needless to say, we don’t want to go to a second game.”

Powerade mentor Bo Perasol said the game is good on how his Tigers have progressed in the tournament.

“We realize how well B-MEG had been playing both individually and as team,” he said. “That knockout game will be a testament of how far we’ve grown as a team. What I’m sure of is we won’t back down to whatever challenge they will pose.”

In the opener, the undermanned Tropang Texters also seek the clincher against the Energy, who beat them in the elimination phase.

Reyes said Ali Peek and Ranidel de Ocampo are doubtful starters against Barako Bull as they are not yet in top shape.

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