ALASKA finished the PBA Season 46 Governors’ Cup eliminations with a 6-5 win-loss record and now awaits a win-or-go-home playoff game that could end up as the 35-year-old franchise's last in the pro league.
Having failed to secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, the Aces now await their seeding in the playoff as well as their opponent, which, although remotely, can end up as Barangay Ginebra.
A Ginebra-Alaska tussle will, of course, set up Gin Kings coach Tim Cone against the same team he led to 13 out of its 14 championships.
Can it happen?
In such a pairing, it will either be Cone putting an end to the PBA stint of the team he led to a 1996 grand slam, or Alaska extending its PBA farewell toyr at the expense of the most sucessful coach in franchise history.
But for this to be even be a conversation, a lot should happen, and we mean a lot.
Based on unofficial computations, Ginebra is actually still in the running for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. Chances, however, are very slim since TNT must lose to also-ran Terrafirma and NorthPort, which will drop it to 5-6 and out of the playoff race. Meralco also must lose to Phoenix Super LPG.
Such a situation will lead to a five-way deadlock for fourth place among Ginebra, Alaska, Phoenix, NorthPort, and Meralco on 6-5 records. That will most likely put Ginebra at No. 4 due to the Gin Kings being 4-0 against the teams involved in the tie and with a superior points differential bolstered by a 26-point win over NorthPort last December 17.
As for which will take the No. 5 slot, that will be dictated by the winning margin in the game between Phoenix and Meralco on Friday. As things stand, Alaska has the inside track for the No. 5 position with a -5 point differential, with Phoenix closely behind at -7 with a game left to play against Meralco. This means that a one-point Phoenix win would most likely arrange that Ginebra-Alaska quarterfinals.
Don’t bank on it too much, though.
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