Meralco tries to move closer to the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals with a win against the eliminated GlobalPort in the main game of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Governors’ Cup today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Bolts, currently solo second with a 7-2 win-loss record, need to beat Batang Pier in their 7 p.m. encounter to put their one foot in the top four. They still have San Miguel Beer (7-3) as their final assignment in the elimination round.
In the opener, the Star (5-4) tries to salvage what is left in its own bid for the bonus as it battles the winless and also ran Kia (0-10) at 4:15 p.m.
Reigning Best Import Allen Durham, who is averaging 27.6 points, 19.7 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game, is expected to lead the charge of Meralco along with new recruit Ranidel De Ocampo, Jared Dillinger and Baser Amer.
GlobalPort, at 3-7, will just play a spoiler’s role as it tries to jeopardize the incentive bid of Meralco.
Batang Pier import Murphy Holloway, who is averaging 27.2 points and 18.6 rebounds per game in the tournament, will anchor the team’s offense as they try to exit on a winning note.
In the opener, the Hotshots are in a must-win situation to up their chances for the twice-to-beat. But first, they need to hurdle the Picanto and beat NLEX (7-3) on Sunday in order to force a playoff for the No. 4 spot.
“It is still a very important game for us due to placings and standings. We just need to focus one game at a time and Kia is a very dangerous team to deal with because there is no pressure on its part,” said Star coach Chito Victolero.
“They almost beat San Miguel Beer, so we must play hard,” he added.
Star’s new import Kris Acox, who replaced Malcolm Hill, debuted with 18 points and 18 rebounds in his team’s loss to TNT KaTropa.