Purefoods goes for solo second spot as Hotshots battle skidding Barako Bull Energy
Tim Cone and the Hotshots try to move out of a three-way tie for second with idle Rain or Shien and Talk 'N Text. Dante Peralta

WITH the single-round eliminations down to its final week, coach Tim Cone expects Purefoods Star to raise its game as the Hotshots make a bid for a top two finish.

Purefoods Star has won its last two games to forge a three-way tie for second spot with Talk ’N Text and Rain or Shine at 6-3.

On Tuesday, the Hotshots have an opportunity grab solo second spot when they collide with a skidding Barako Bull Energy side in the main game of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Game time is at 4:15 p.m.

“At this point, every team is playing for their playoff lives so every team is a dangerous team,” said Cone.

“For us, the playoffs have come early because every game is playoff-like now and to win, you have to impose your will.”

Cone’s concern is how fast the team could recover after a lung-busting 118-117 triple-overtime win over the Tropang Texters in Davao.

The Hotshots also had to rely practically on import Denzel Bowles during the three extra periods to eke out the hard-earned win.

“It’s a quick turnaround for us coming from out-of-town, plus the triple-overtime game, so we have to make sure we have a fast turnaround,” he added.

“Bringing the energy will be a major concern for us.”

Barako Bull, on the other hand, faded after opening the mid-season conference 3-0.

The Energy have lost five of their last six games and are suddenly on the brink of elimination.

Barako Bull coach Koy Banal wants his team to maintain a positive outlook in  their last two games in the eliminations.

“Ang tema is having the positive attitude because positive attitude creates positive results,” he said. 

“I also shared with them the importance of faith in God.”

Barako Bull has actually lost its defensive edge in five of its losses, giving up an average of 96.5 points, a far cry from its 75-points-per-game limit against its opposition during its first three victories.

“Ang reminder ko lang is we have to keep on believing. We just have to focus on today and keep working hard,” he said.

“We will give our best. We just need to work hard and maybe at the end of the game, we might get a win.” 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava