PETRON Blaze will try to bounce back and regain the solo second spot when it battles Globalport while Alaska and Meralco seek to break away from a four-way tie today in the 39th Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup elimination round at the Araneta Coliseum.
After an 88-92 loss to Barako Bull on Wednesday, the Blaze Boosters remain confident they can again hurdle Batang Pier, whom they demolished 97-87, in their first meeting on November 20.
The Blaze Boosters face Batang Pier at 8 p.m. following the 5:45 p.m. encounter between Alaska and Meralco.
Despite the setback to Energy Cola, Coach Gee Abanilla’s Blaze Boosters continue to share the second spot with Rain or Shine with a similar 8-3 win-loss slate, just half a win behind solo leader Ginebra, bearing a 9-2 card.
On the other hand, Globalport is locked from 6th position to the ninth with Alaska, Meralco and San Mig Coffee all carrying similar 4-7 records. Thus, Coach Richie Ticzon’s Batang Pier as well as Meralco Bolts and the Aces badly need a win today to move a step up over cellar dweller Air 21 Express. The latter rekindled their hope of making it to the quarterfinals by posting a 102-100 win over defending champion Talk ‘N Text the other day.
The 6’10 center June Mar Fajardo of Petron, who missed several games because of a knee injury, is yet to regain his old form but it is likely that Abanilla would force him to play tonight. The team needs Fajardo to contain 6’7 Jay Washington, 6’6 Erik Menk, 6’7 Kelly Nabong and 6’6 rookie center Justin Chua.