Games Wednesday (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
5:15 p.m. – Talk n Text vs Barako Bull
7:30 p.m. – B-Meg vs Powerade
MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra outfought Talk n Text in the payoff period, scoring a 96-82 victory that handed B-Meg top honors at the close of the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.
Mark Caguioa, Mike Cortez, JC Intal, Enrico Villanuena and Willy Wilson did the job as Ginebra hurdled Talk n Text, making the Llamados the top seeds, the Texters second seeds, the Petron Blaze Boosters third seeds and the Kings fourth seeds in the playoff phase starting Wednesday.
It will be B-Meg versus Powerade and Talk n Text against Barako Bull with the Llamados and the Texters enjoying twice-to-beat advantage.
Petron and Ginebra, meanwhile, tangle with Meralco and Rain or Shine, respectively, in separate best-of-three showdowns.
“Rain or Shine will be tough. They beat us in the opening game by one. They’re a pretty good team and we’ve got to be ready,” said Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen.
Rain or Shine, essentially just trying to build confidence and establish momentum for the playoffs, topped Alaska Milk, 91-85, earlier in the day.
The Elasto Painters cranked up in the second half and smothered the Aces to seal a best-of-three quarterfinals showdown with the Kings
“The next step is to win the quarters and we’re hopeful we can do that,” said assistant coach Caloy Garcia who called the shots for the Elasto Painters in the absence of coach Yeng Guiao.
“I think we can match up better with Ginebra. They have big men who are not really dominant except Eric Menk,” said Garcia on their quarters match-up with the Kings.
“Petron would have been tougher. They’re coming off a championship. They have a high morale,” Garcia added.
Rain or Shine lost its two recent playoffs encounters with Ginebra but Garcia insisted they’re a better team now.
The Elasto Painters wound up with a 9-5 win-loss card in the Philippine Cup elims – a strong showing they capped with wins over Shopinas and Alaska minus injured prized rookie Paul Lee.
The former UE standout, however, is tipped to be back in action as Rain or Shine slugs it out with Ginebra in Game One of their best-of-three showdown Friday.
Beau Belga, Ronjay Buenafe, Larry Rodriguez, Jervy Cruz and Ronnie Matias all put in double-digit outputs as Rain or Shine sent Alaska to a 3-11 finish in the tourney.
The Aces failed to make it past the elims only for the third time in the last 32 conferences.
Buenafe made nine of his 14 points in the third period, sparking a run that put Rain or Shine in control going into the payoff quarter.
Rain or Shine took a first double-digit spread at 85-75 on a three-point play by Matias, and the Elasto Painters never looked back from there.
Curiously, the Elasto Painters fought the Aces to a 42-all deadlock at the half though badly beaten in rebounds, 24-36.
“We’re out of sync in the first half. Luckily, we hung in there,” said Garcia.
“We talked about the need to be aggressive at halftime. We needed that as we’ll bring that over to the next game,” Garcia added.