SAN Mig Coffee and Meralco slug it out for the No. 2 seed on Friday night in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers and the Bolts, tied for second with similar 5-3 win-loss records, clash at 5:15 p.m.
The winner secures the No. 2 spot and a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, while the loser drops to provisional No. 3 with one playdate left in the elims.
San Mig coach Tim Cone is happy they are now fighting for the No. 2 spot instead of just barely making it through the quarterfinals.
“The second seed would be a nice position to nestle into, especially after our poor start this conference,” said Cone, whose team overcame a 0-2 start by winning five of its last six games.
The multi-titled PBA coach knows the Bolts won’t be pushovers in a tournament that saw Meralco win four of its last five games.
“Meralco is in the boat and they are playing as well as anyone outside of Petron. It will be a tough game no doubt. We’ll have to be at our best,” added Cone.
Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio said the only way to sustain their gains in the elimination round is by combining their defensive intensity with solid offense from the locals and their import.
“We are bracing ourselves for a tough match against San Mig because we have the same mission — to be No. 2,” said Gregorio.
“They (Mixers) recovered after a 1-3 start. But they have won four straight. We have to break their rhythm with defense as our main weapon. We have to score,” he added. “If we are to go deep in the playoffs, our offensive efficiency must be as strong as our defensive intensity.”