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Blackwater, Phoenix engage in knockout clash; GlobalPort seeks to improve playoff bid vs Kia

Mike DiGregorio led Blackwater in its past two games, and the team will need him a lot especially that Allein Maliksi already went to Australia. PBA Media Bureau (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--For GlobalPort, Blackwater, and Phoenix, their mad dash to the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals could be decided on Wednesday night.

The three teams will be involved in a scheduled doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Batang Pier will be the first in line at 4:30 p.m. as they take on the also-ran Kia Picanto.

Currently in joint seventh place with Phoenix at 4-5, GlobalPort will be back in action five days after the team played back-to-back games last week.

"Malaking bagay yung nakakapahinga ka," said Coach Pido Jarencio.

On the other hand, Kia will try to play spoiler on GlobalPort as the team looks to end its Philippine Cup campaign strongly.

The interesting part of the twinbill, however, will be the nightcap at 7 p.m., when the Elite and the Fuel Masters collide.

Blackwater somehow came back from the grave with back-to-back wins against San Miguel and Kia, but a loss on Sunday night to NLEX put the team in a must-win situation against Phoenix if it wants to stay in the playoff hunt.

"Must win. No other comment," Coach Leo Isaac simply said about the match.

Speaking of Phoenix, the club, which fell to Meralco the last time out, can still enter the quarterfinals, but it cannot afford to lose if it does not want to be in a complicated situation.

"At least nasa kamay pa namin ang fate namin. Nasasa-amin na 'yon to make things happen," said Coach Louie Alas.

Both teams, however, will be one Gilas down each as Matt Wright and Allein Maliksi already left for Melbourne for the national team's game on Thursday night against Australia.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno