WEDNESDAY’S PBA Philippine Cup match-up between Alaska and NorthPort will have huge implications as far as the playoff pairings are concerned.
The Aces and the Batang Pier are in the middle of a crowded race for the final two spots in the quarterfinals heading into their match on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Alaska is in a share of seventh place at 4-6 (win-loss), while NorthPort is in 10th with a 3-6 card.
NLEX, Columbian, and Meralco are also vying for the two remaining playoff spots.
How big is Wednesday’s match? For one, Alaska only needs to win in order to bag a playoff berth and avoid complications. But granting the Aces make it, they will face a tough road to the title from that point on as either the No. 7 or 8 seed, meaning they will be in a twice-to-beat disadvantage.
If the Aces end up at No. 8, that will mean a clash, for the first time ever, against former player Calvin Abueva. Alaska will end up at No. 8 if it ties with Magnolia and NLEX with a 5-6 card with the Aces having the inferior quotient after losing to both teams in blowout fashions. Standings are as follows:
? NLEX 6-5 or 5-6
? Magnolia 6-5 or 5-6
8. Alaska 5-6 (0.804 quotient)
To avoid a match against top seed Phoenix Pulse, a lot of things must happen. After Alaska beats NorthPort, Ginebra must beat Meralco in Wednesday’s second game, and Magnolia and Ginebra must win over NLEX and NorthPort, respectively, on April 4. That will make Alaska as the lone team with a 5-6 card. The standings will be as follows:
6. Magnolia 6-5
7. Alaska 5-6
8. ??? 4-7
NorthPort will have to wait longer to know its fate since the Batang Pier have two more games left. One thing is clear, so far, a sweep of the two games will move the Batang Pier into the quarterfinals.
A loss by the teams will only complicate the situation for the teams. But that’s for another day of discussion.