Mar 23, 2019

San Miguel looks at a top 6 finish, but Alaska just as determined to win

Out of the race for the Top Two, San Miguel Beer must still come out and exert an effort in a bid to claim a spot in the Top Six.

That's the goal for the reigning four-time PBA Philippine Cup champion as it clashes with Alaska Milk Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

At 6-4, the Beermen are assured of a quarterfinals berth, but their seeding in the playoffs is still hanging in the balance.

They try to secure a finish in the Top Six for a spot in the best-of-three quarterfinals as they set out for a battle at 6:45 p.m. with the Alaska Milk Aces who, for their part, fight for a quarterfinals entry.

The Aces must win their last two games in the elims versus the Beermen and the NorthPort Batang Pier to avoid complications of any tie at No. 8.

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And like San Miguel, Alaska still hopes to salvage a place in the Top Six to avoid a matchup versus a quarterfinalist with a twice-to-beat advantage.

The Aces fought back into strong contention for the playoff round in manhandling the Meralco Bolts, 92-77, Wednesday.

The Beermen, meanwhile, dropped out of the race for the Top Two in a 93-96 loss to the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters in a road showdown in Panabo, Davao del Norte on March 16.

Jvee Casio and Kevin Racal finally returned from a long layoff and provided significant help as Alaska Milk snapped out of a three-game slump versus Meralco.

"A bunch of guys did better for us. It's nice to have Jvee and Kevin back.

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They're still a little bit rusty and out of shape but they came in and made some plays in a way they usually do," said Alaska coach Alex Compton.

"And to be honest, it's a huge win for us. I'm happy to get that win. Kung natalo kami, baka Boracay kami," Compton also said.

But when asked about their next game against the Beermen, Compton couldn't hide his concern.

But odds are indeed stacked against them versus the team that they just couldn't beat in big games. (SB)