AFTER coming back from an 18-point second-quarter deficit to beat Rain or Shine 97-90 last Sunday, Barangay Ginebra apparently did Talk ‘N Text a favor – the Kings’ win virtually gave the two-time defending champions a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the 2012-13 PBA Philippine Cup.
The Tropang Texters had earlier on Sunday beaten Air21 100-94 to improve its league-best record to 10-2; that’s one-a-half games ahead of second-running San Mig Coffee which tote an 8-3 record.
The Elasto Painters dropped to 8-4 after the hearbreaking loss to the Kings.
The rest of the teams have at least five losses each already so that means, with all teams just having a total of 14 games each in the eliminations, only Rain or Shine and San Mig Coffee can match Talk ‘N Text’s 10 wins.
The Tropang Texters’ last two assignments are against Petron Blaze on Wednesday, November 28, and Barangay Ginebra at the close of the elimination round on December 9 at the MOA Arena.
A win in any of those two games will assure TNT of that twice-to-beat edge in the quarters and the No. 1 seeding in the playoffs.
But it looks like even if Talk ‘N Text loses those last two games, it will most likely still be assured of a Top Two finish after the elims.
That’s because if San Mig Coffee sweeps its last two games, it will finish the elims at 11-3. But that would mean beating Rain or Shine on Sunday, December 2, which is one of its last three assignments (the others are Globalport on December 7 and Meralco on December 9), and thereby eliminating the Elasto Painters from a twice-to-beat slot.
If Rain or Shine sweeps its last two games – against the Mixers and Barako Bull on December 7, and finish at 10-4, there’s a possibility of a three-way tie at for No. 1 with Talk ‘N Text and San Mig Coffee.
In that scenario, the team with the best PBA quotient will automatically be No. 1 and gets the first twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals while the other two figure in a playoff for No. 2 and the other twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
The three teams' current point differentials are: Talk ‘N Text (+43), Rain or Shine (-2) and San Mig Coffee (-41). Meaning, since the Mixers will have to lose to the Elasto Painters for the three-way tie to happen, then that means the former’s points differential is even gonna get worse.
Which further means, the Tropang Texters’ plus-43 is already virtually secure and along with it a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
That is, unless Rain or Shine beats San Mig Coffee by at least 46 points to relegate Talk ‘N Text to the playoff with the Mixers for No. 2 in the three-way tie scenario at 10-4.
But you think that’s gonna happen? I doubt it.