Playoff positioning crucial as Ginebra takes 'must-win' approach to Meralco game
“It’s not a do or die, but it’s pretty darn close," says coach Tim Cone ahead of Ginebra's final eliminations game against league-leader Meralco. Jaime Campos

BARANGAY Ginebra shifts early to playoff mode as it takes on league-leading Meralco on Wednesday in their last game in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup eliminations at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Gin Kings are already bound for the postseason and are in the middle of the pack with a 6-4 win-loss record in a three-way tie with Alaska and Tropang TNT.

But with how close the teams are bunched up in the middle, the Gin Kings can still go as high as second seed that comes with a twice-to-beat advantage – or as low as seventh that entails a twice-to-win disadvantage in the quarterfinals.

The third to sixth seeds face off in a best-of-three affair.

“That makes this a ‘must win,’” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said on the eve of the 7 p.m. encounter. “It’s not a do or die, but it’s pretty darn close.”

“Anything above seventh place is bonus for us,” the champion coach added.

The Bolts, setting the pace with eight wins in 10 outings, are already assured of either of the top two spots.

Bolts import Arinze Onuaku tests the mettle of Ginebra twin towers Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, while Gin Kings reinforcement Othyus Jeffers matches up against the Meralco’s wingmen.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos