San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria warned his players not to take Phoenix for granted despite the latter team being out of the running in the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals.
Austria believes the Fuel Masters, who lost eight straight matches after opening the conference with two victories, will be more potent without the pressure of winning.
"That's one big reason why we can't take them for granted," said Austria in the PBA website.
The Beermen, on the other hand, are still seeking a top four spot that will guarantee them a twice-to-beat advantage in the next round.
SMB currently holds a 6-3 card behind Barangay Ginebra (8-2), Meralco (7-2), NLEX (7-3) and TNT (7-). Closely following them are Star (5-4) and Rain or Shine (5-4).
Already eliminated from the race together with Phoenix are GlobalPort (3-7), Alaska Milk (3-7) and Kia (0-10).
San Miguel and Phoenix will square off at 7 p.m. at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
At 4:15 p.m., Rain or Shine will be facing the same predicament against also-ran Alaska.
Coach Caloy Garcia wants the Elasto Painters to raise the level of their game if they want to make it to the top eight before the end of eliminations.
"Alaska isn't a team that you can relax against," he said. "We have to come out with the mentality of wanting to win rather than just playing the game if we want to win."
The Aces will play as spoilers wanting to end their campaign with a win.
"We are eliminated but we will compete and honor the game," said Aces coach Alex Compton.
"Rain or Shine is tough and playing well but we will do our best to give them playoff-level basketball."
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)