WHILE all the playoff talk is centered on a possible Barangay Ginebra-San Miguel quarterfinal match-up, let's not forget that a Ginebra-Magnolia face-off in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup playoffs is also a possibility.
Following three straight defeats, the Hotshots faces the likelihood of a quarterfinal showdown against Ginenbra. That is actually not necessarily a bad thing since the last time the two rivals squared off in the quarterfinals, the Hotshots won the last two games of a best-of-three series in the Philippine Cup.
Magnolia, the sixth seed in the quarters, went on to reach the finals, where it lost to San Miguel by just a point in Game Seven.
So how can a Manila Clasico quarterfinals happen? First, Magnolia has to hurdle TNT in its final game. A victory by Blackwater, a win by Ginebra, and two San Miguel victories will set the stage for a Magnolia-Ginebra quarters.
3 Blackwater 7-4 (Elite take third seed after beating Ginebra in the eliminations)
4 Ginebra 7-4
5 Magnolia 6-5 (Hotshots take fifth seed after beating San Miguel in the eliminations)
6 San Miguel 6-5
Even a loss by Ginebra will lead to a Final Eight playoff between the two rivals.
3 Blackwater 7-4
4 Ginebra 6-5 (+24 point differential)
5 Magnolia 6-5 (+15)
6 San Miguel 6-5 (-39)
Ginebra has the superior point differential and quotient among the three sister teams after a 21-point victory over Magnolia and a three-point win over San Miguel. Magnolia will be the fifth seed by virtue of a 36-point win over San Miguel, notwithstanding a 21-point defeat to Ginebra. San Miguel will fall to sixth because of its defeats against Magnolia and Ginebra.
From the looks of things, Magnolia's final elimination-round match against TNT and San Miguel's final two matches will dictate how the quarterfinal pairings will go.
Anything can still happen in the race for the quarterfinals and we will discuss more of the possible scenarios in the next days.