SAN Miguel Beer will be gunning for the second twice-to-beat advantage when it faces Air 21 Express in a lone game at 8 p.m. today in the 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen’s hope of finishing second at the end of the single round elimination is still alive because of their 97-88 win over sister team San Mig Coffee on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena. The squad secured their sixth win in eight matches courtesy of import Kevin Jones’ 28 points, 16 rebounds and four assists.
Alaska, now with a 5-3 record after battering the Ginebra Kings, 83-73, on Sunday is the only other team that has a chance of claiming the second spot if the Beermen loses to the Express today and if coach Luigi Trillo’s Aces also win over San Mig Coffee Mixers on Easter Sunday, in which case both would wind-up with similar 6-3 win-loss slates.
In case of a tie, the Aces, who defeated the Beermen, 89-78, on March 29, will finish second via the winner-over-the other rule. But a win by the Beermen today will definitely end Alaska’s hope for the second twice-to-beat incentive going into the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, with the departure of import Josh Powell who reportedly is signing up with the Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association, the Ginebra Kings has no other option but to rely on former two-time PBA best import Gabe Freeman.
The 6’7 Freeman, who led San Miguel Beer to the 2009 Fiesta Conference championship, arrived on Monday to reinforce the Kings in their game against Rain or Shine on Easter Sunday.