TNT won over Terrafirma on Wednesday to take the first step in taking the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the PBA 46th Season Governors’ Cup. And the good thing about the Tropang GIGA situation is that they control their own destiny.
Heading into the last playdate of the eliminations, there is, however, a very small chance that TNT could slide to as low as No. 8 with a loss to NorthPort, which also needs a win to punch the final ticket to the knockout-style playoffs.
But that will entail a major collapse that is unlikely for the reigning Philippine Cup champions. Their fate also lies in the result of the first game between Meralco and Phoenix Super LPG which also have quarterfinal implications.
As we said, highly unlikely but possible.
Let's take a look at all the TNT scenarios:
TNT gets twice-to-beat if…
The Tropang GIGA only need to win against NorthPort on Friday to take one of the top four spots in the next phase with a 7-4 win-loss card.
The Tropang GIGA will secure the No. 3 seed in the quarterfinals regardless of whether it ends up in a tie with San Miguel or in a three-way tie with San Miguel and Meralco due to a superior quotient. TNT beat San Miguel in a blowout, 96-81, during the eliminations, while it enjoys a +12 differential if Meralco gets involved in the deadlock.
However, a loss to NorthPort and a Phoenix win over Meralco will lead to a six-way tie for fourth place and different scenarios may happen.
TNT can get a twice-to-beat spot even if it loses if...
Even with a loss to NorthPort, TNT can still get the twice-to-beat as long as it is a close defeat to NorthPort and that Phoenix doesn’t win over Meralco in a blowout game. At the moment, TNT is a +27 in point differential, with idle Barangay Ginebra a far second with 0.
A win by Meralco and a loss by TNT will relegate the Tropang GIGA to the last four spots of the quarterfinals.
But here's where it gets a little tricky for the Tropang GIGA.
TNT doesn’t get twice-to-beat if…
The losing margin of TNT as well as the result of the Meralco-Phoenix tussle in the first game will determine the final seedings in the playoffs.
With that +27 point differential before Friday’s games, TNT has the inside track on the No. 5 so long as it loses to NorthPort by a slim margin.
A major blowout defeat, perhaps in the range of 30 or more points, is the last thing that TNT should avoid as it could even slide down into a playoff for the No. 8 berth with a lopsided loss to NorthPort.
To recap, for TNT to avoid complications, the only thing to do is win against the hottest team in the league in NorthPort.
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