Meralco, Hotshots chase seat in semis
THE quarterfinals are set to roll as top seed Meralco and fourth seed Star look to enter the semifinals of the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup.
A heavy favorite, the Bolts aim on advancing when they collide with No. 8 Blackwater at 4:15 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City today.
Following that, the No. 4 Hotshots are looking to do exactly the same when they take on No. 5 NLEX at 7 p.m.
Meralco and Star are equipped with twice-to-beat incentives after finishing in the top four.
The Bolts have been playing consistent solid basketball throughout the tournament, ending up as the top seed.
Reigning Best Import Allen Durham has been spectacular as his all-around play continue to lift the Bolts.
They are looking to get back to the finals, a place where they were last season, and they have a shot at taking a step closer to that goal should they beat the Elite.
Clearly the underdog, Blackwater, with a healthy line-up and the scoring prowess of import Henry Walker, is looking to make things interesting and is hopeful to force a sudden death through a huge upset.
The clash between the Hotshots and the Road Warriors is expected to be a tight encounter with both teams presenting balance firepower.
After slumping midway in the elimination round, Star picked itself up just in time to salvage a place in the top four.
The Hotshots are riding a two-game winning streak and incidentally, their last one was claimed at the expense of NLEX, 101-93, last Sunday in a game that determined the No. 4 seed.
Now, the Road Warriors, who were in the top four the entire tournament until their meltdown against the Hotshots, need to pull off two straight to advance.
Meralco posted a 107-78 rout over Blackwater in the elimination round. Baser Amer scored 20 points, while Durham added 18 points and 21 rebounds for the Bolts. Then Blackwater import Trevis Thompson led all scorers with 25 points but it hardly helped the Elite.
The Bolts may not have as easy a time against the Elite in their next game because Blackwater will be reinforced by Walker who is a big improvement over the lightweight Thompson.
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