Three teams crowd out for last two quarterfinals berths as PBA Govs Cup elims enter homestretch
Whatever happens, TNT Katropa, San Miguel, and Barangay Ginebra are already assured of the top three spots in the PBA Governors Cup playoffs

THE PBA Governors’ Cup postseason picture has become more clear after Ginebra beat Phoenix on Wednesday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The outcome paved the way for Meralco and Mahindra to face off in the playoff for the fourth spot that stakes a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the season-ending conference in a virtual best-of-three series.

The Phoenix loss meanwhile, also allowed NLEX to clinch a quarterfinal berth, leaving only three teams – Alaska, Phoenix, and Rain or Shine – fighting for the last two playoff spots.

There can also be a slight move among leaders and win-once incentive holders TNT Katropa, Ginebra, and defending champion San Miguel Beer.

Here’s the remaining schedule:

Friday (Mall of Asia Arena) – Alaska vs NLEX, ROS vs Star

Sunday (Biñan, Laguna) – SMB vs Blackwater, TNT Katropa vs GIN

And here are the significant out of the remaining 16 scenarios, with a help from league statistician Fidel Mangonon III, after the last two days of the elimination round.

If Alaska, ROS, SMB, and TNT Katropa win:

1. TNT 10-1

2. SMB 8-3

3. GIN 8-3

6. Alaska  6-5

7. NLEX   5-6

PHX 5-6

ROS 5-6

The Texters will emerge on top of the standings and wait for the survivor of the Elasto Painters-Fuel Masters playoff for the last spot.

The Beermen will finish second and face the seventh-seeded Road Warriors, who own the highest quotient among Phoenix and ROS, while the third-seeded Gin Kings take on the sixth-ranked Aces.

If NLEX, ROS, SMB, and GIN win:

1. GIN 9-2

2. TNT 9-2

3. SMB 8-3

6. NLEX 6-5

7. ROS 5-6

Alaska 5-6

PHX 5-6

The Gin Kings will finish on top and face the winner of the playoff between the Aces and the Fuel Masters for the eighth spot.

The Texters square off against the Elasto Painters, who will end up with the best quotient among Alaska and Phoenix. The Beermen, for their part, take on NLEX.

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If Alaska, Star, Blackwater, and TNT win:

1. TNT 10-1

2. GIN 8-3

3. SMB 7-4

6. Alaska 6-5

7. NLEX 5-6

8. PHX 5-6

This scenario entails no playoff as the Hotshots will already eliminate the Elasto Painters, prompting the top-seeded Texters to face the Fuel Masters in the first round, the Gin Kings taking on the Road Warriors, and the Beermen and Aces locking horns in an early finals rematch.

If NLEX, Star, Blackwater, and GIN win:

1. GIN 9-2

2. TNT 9-2

3. SMB 7-4

6. NLEX 6-5

7. Alaska 5-6

8. PHX 5-6

No playoff is also required in this setting where the Elasto Painters will be eliminated as the Gin Kings face the Fuel Masters, the Texters take on the Aces, and the Beermen face the Road Warriors.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos