San Mig, Meralco battle for playoff positioning

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 14 2014 12:47 PM | Updated as of Apr 14 2014 08:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The San Mig Super Coffee Mixers and the Meralco Bolts face off in a game with playoff implications in the PBA Commissioners Cup Monday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

San Mig, with its 4-3 record, can keep its chance at a playoff for a twice-to-beat advantage alive with a win.

“Every possession counts in this game,” Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio told PBA.ph.

The Bolts (4-4) can earn an outright berth in a best-of-three quarterfinals series with a victory.

“We are gunning for our fifth win and a slot in the best of three. It is a very important game. Our mind-set is to do whatever it takes to win,” said Gregorio.

San Mig Coffee has been mired in a slump of sorts, losing three of its last four games. The status of star forward Marc Pingris is also doubtful after the national team mainstay suffered back spasms in their 88-97 loss against San Miguel Beer in their most recent game.

Yet the Mixers remain slight favorites against the Bolts, and Gregorio acknowledged the need for a good start as they battle San Mig, who have been the champions in the past two conferences.

“We can’t take our chances against a seasoned team. We can’t be down big and expect to win,” said Gregorio.

The Bolts had to do that in their most recent game, overhauling a 22-point deficit to defeat Barako Bull, 105-98.

Game time is at 8 p.m.

In the first game of the double-header, Rain or Shine will take on Air21 in a game that will also have seeding implications in the playoffs.

Both teams are now assured of slots in the quarter-finals but will want to avoid the last two spots, which will come with a twice-to-beat disadvantage.

The Elasto Painters will welcome back Coach Yeng Guiao, who was absent for two weeks due to a business trip.

“We have not played to our potential this conference, but once we get our game going, we will give the rest of the teams some problems,” Guiao said.

Game time is at 5:45 p.m.