AS the elimination round of the PBA Philippine Cup winds down, the battle for the final three seats in the quarterfinals has intensified. That will be decided after Wednesday’s doubleheader in which Magnolia will be facing NLEX, and NorthPort will be battling Barangay Ginebra at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Phoenix is already the top seed, followed by Rain or Shine, Barangay Ginebra, San Miguel, and TNT KaTropa. Yet to be settled are the No. 6, seventh and eighth seeds. Alaska, which has already played its final game in the eliminations, is still in contention for the eighth spot but its fate is no longer in its own hands.
Here are the standings in the sixth to ninth spots:
6. Magnolia 5-5
7. NLEX 4-6
7. NorthPort 4-6
9. Alaska 4-7
As mentioned in Monday’s article, Magnolia only needs to win against NLEX in order to secure the sixth spot, while NLEX must win over Magnolia by nine points or more. NorthPort, meanwhile, will get the seventh spot if the Batang Pier win over Ginebra and NLEX loses to Magnolia.
But how about the worst-case scenarios for the four teams still in the running for the quarterfinals.
A three-way tie at 5-6 can still ensue among Magnolia, NLEX, and NorthPort. Magnolia can still slide down to No. 7 if it loses to NLEX by nine points, or although remotely, can slip to No. 8 if the Hotshots lose to the Road Warriors in a very lopsided fashion. So far, Magnolia has a +13 point differential over the two other teams in their matches against each other that will determine the quotient. NLEX is at -5, and NorthPort is at -8.
NLEX can still fall into a playoff for the eighth spot against Alaska if they go down to 4-7 with a loss to Magnolia, and NorthPort beats Barangay Ginebra.
The Batang Pier will figure in a playoff for the eighth and final spot in the quarterfinals against Alaska if it loses to Barangay Ginebra. The playoff match will still occur even in a three-way tie for 4-7 with NLEX and Alaska as NLEX has a better quotient over the two teams, meaning the Road Warriors will automatically get the seventh seed.
The worse case for Alaska? The Aces [4-7] will get eliminated outright if both NLEX and NorthPort win on Wednesday and move up to tie Magnolia at 5-6.