SMB out to claim Top 2 vs Picanto
(The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Beer tries to seal a Top Two finish while Rain or Shine steps up its own drive for one of the two coveted slots as they take on Kia and Alaska Milk, respectively, in the stretch run of the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight.

The Beermen and the Picanto figure in a duel of the pacesetters versus the tail-enders at 4:30 p.m. with the former highly fancied to nail win No. 8 that will guarantee them of a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.

The Elasto Painters (5-3), meanwhile, return from a 12-day respite looking to close in on the Beermen (7-2) and the Magnolia Hotshots (7-3) as they tangle with the Aces at 7 p.m.

At 6-4, the Aces are out of the running for the Top Two and they need to win their closing game to claim a spot in the best-of-three quarterfinals.

Thus, the E-Painters and the Aces could well figure in a tough battle.

After a long break, the E-Painters will be the busiest team in the final week of the single-round-robin eliminations, tackling three formidable opponents in Alaska Milk, San Miguel then Barangay Ginebra.

A sweep of those games will hand them a Top Two finish and a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.

NOTES: Blackwater center Poy Erram collected 12 points and 19 rebounds in their crucial win over Phoenix Wednesday to catch up with June Mar Fajardo in the lead among the players with the most double-double games (seven each). With his 19 boards, Erram bumped off Fajardo at No. 1 in the rebounding ladder. Erram is now the leader with an average of 13.8 as against Fajardo’s 13.3.

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