Phoenix and TNT KaTropa will dispute the last quarterfinals seat at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Fuel Masters are upbeat after beating GlobalPort 104-100 last Friday in the final day of the elimination round.
Phoenix is hoping to repeat their 74-72 victory over the KaTropa during their first elimination round encounter.
“It’s a super tall order for us but doable,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas, referring to the do-or-die game against a well-rested TNT team. “It remains to be seen although the players are still tired because of Friday’s game, but hopefully we sustain our effort.”
Alas added that smothering defense will be the key element once again in their game.
“We haven’t perfected our defense yet although there’s a little improvement but we can do a lot better,” added Alas.
The Fuel Masters finished the elimination round with a 5-6 win-loss record.
Matthew Wright is coming off a 32-point performance while veteran Jeff Chan had an 18-point production in their win over GlobalPort. Both are expected to deliver for Phoenix anew.
After routing sister-team Northern Luzon Expressway, 101-75, last week, TNT hopes to avenge its defeat to Phoenix in the elimination round.
“Our goal is to play beyond Friday,” said TNT coach Nash Racela, who will rely on Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy. “We got our wish and we plan to extend it some more. Both teams will play with a lot of urgency and hopefully we could build from our last win.”