Twice-to-beat holders Rain or Shine, Ginebra, GlobalPort and Talk ‘N Text are not going to take their respective opponents lightly at the start of the quarterfinal round beginning Friday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
All four teams, with a twice-to-beat edge, are determined to go hard and march to the next phase of the quarterfinals.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao doesn’t like to experience the frustrating endgame collapse that they’ve suffered to Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) last week when his team faces No. 10 Blackwater in the first stage of the quarterfinal round on Saturday in the 3:00 p.m. first game.
“I was disappointed [after losing to NLEX]but we have to move on. We are still the No. 3 seed and we still got our twice-to-beat bonus,” Guiao said. “We have to gain from that experience [against Blackwater]as we go to the finals. We really have to play hard against Blackwater. ”
The loss of Rain or Shine allowed defending champion San Miguel Beer and last year’s first runner-up Alaska to take the top two seeds, while the Elasto Painters slipped to No. 3 spot although they have already secured a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.
No. 5 twice-to-beat bonus holder GlobalPort will battle No. 8 Barako Bull in Friday’s Christmas Day at 3:00 p.m., followed by the 5:15 p.m. second game between No. 4 twice-to-beat holder Ginebra and the No. 9 Star Hotshots.
Despite holding a twice-to-beat bonus, coach Tim Cone of Ginebra warned his players led by 7-footer Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar not to be complacent when they battle the much experienced Star Hotshots led by Mark Barroca, James Yap and Peter June Simon.
On Saturday, twice-to-beat holder No. 6 Talk ‘N Text faces No. 7 sister team NLEX in the second game at 5:15 p.m.
”We have no right to take them for granted,” said TNT coach Jong Uichico.
All quarterfinal games will be played at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Beermen and the Aces are now in the semifinals waiting for the survivors of the two-phase quarterfinal round.