• Beermen try to move closer to quarterfinals bonus


    Grandslam-seeking San Miguel Beer seeks a crucial win that will put the team closer to a top four finish against the eliminated Phoenix in the main game of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.

    Already assured of a slot in the quarterfinals, the Beermen want the twice-to-beat incentive in the next phase and they need to beat the Fuel Masters in their 7 p.m. to realize their goal.

    San Miguel Beer’s Terrence Watson drives against Kia’s Jason Ballesteros during the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Governors’ Cup elimination round. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    In the opener, Rain or Shine clashes with the also ran Alaska at 4:15 p.m. with the Elasto Painters trying to salvage what is left in their bid for a twice-to-beat edge in the quarters.

    San Miguel is currently outside the top four with a 6-3 win-loss mark behind Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (8-2), Meralco (7-2), NLEX (7-3) and TNT KaTropa (7-3) and must win its last two games to boost its chances for the bonus.

    “We need to win our last two games against Phoenix and Meralco to have a better chance [of earning the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the quarterfinals], but we have to play good because everybody is trying to beat us,” said Beermen coach Leo Austria.

    His team is coming off a come-from-behind 118-112 win over Kia last Saturday behind June Mar Fajardo’s 41 points and 17 rebounds to seal their spot in the quarters.

    Phoenix, at 2-8, is just fighting for pride as the Fuel Masters are out to snap an eight-game losing streak after starting the conference with back-to-back wins.

    “We try end the season with a win. We had good runs in the first two conferences but we fell short on this one,” said Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia.

    Brandon Brown, who replaced the injured import Eugene Phelps, is averaging 35.8 points and 17.8 rebounds in five games for Phoenix the lack of local support cost them the conference.

    The Elasto Painters, holding a 5-4 mark, have still a long shot for the bonus but they need to sweep their last two games and hope to figure in a playoff for the No. 4 spot.

    “We still have a chance at the Top 4. Alaska isn’t a team that you can relax with. We have to come out with the mentality of wanting to win rather than just playing the game,” said Garcia.

    The Aces, at 3-7, are already out of the quarterfinals race.


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