San Miguel Beer is in prime position to clinch a top-2 finish in the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round when the defending champions take on last-placed Kia at Araneta Coliseum on Friday.
The Beermen's game is at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Rain Or Shine-Alaska clash at 7 p.m.
If San Miguel (7-2) beats Kia (1-9), coach Leo Austria and his crew would secure at least a second-placed finish with a game in hand, owing to its superior quotient.
San Miguel is favored to win its Big Dome assignment, despite not having June Mar Fajardo, who has been called up by Gilas Pilipinas.
Austria has a battle-tested core in starters Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos.
In the second game, Rain Or Shine (5-3) begins a tough road toward a top-2 berth against Alaska (6-4).
For that to happen outright without the complications of resorting to tiebreakers, Rain Or Shine must win its remaining 3 games and hope Magnolia loses to Meralco on Saturday.
Aiding the Elasto Painters' cause is the absence of Alaska forwards Calvin Abueva and Carl Bryan Cruz, who are part of the Gilas team preparing for Japan in a FIBA World Cup qualifying game scheduled on Sunday.
Rain Or Shine will next face San Miguel and Barangay Ginebra to close out its preliminary round calendar.
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