|San Miguel will surely have a twice-to-beat handicap come the quarterfinals, but Junemar Fajardo's return could turn things around. Rick Dela Cruz (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
FOLLOWING a surprisingly dismal 2-4 start, San Miguel went on a resurgence midway into the PBA Governors' Cup eliminations and was suddenly in the running for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
However, due to the results of the Sunday night doubleheader, the Beermen will now have to settle for a twice-to-win disadvantage in the next round.
Still, they can have a decent elimination round finish depending on what happens to its final weekend.
In the first part of a three-article Game Anaysis series, let's take a look at how SMB could end up after the last four games of the preliminaries.
4. Phoenix 7-3
4. Blackwater 7-3
6. San Miguel 6-4
7. NLEX 5-5
Remaining games that will impact the situation:
NLEX vs. Rain Or Shine, Saturday, 4:30 p.m.
San Miguel vs. Meralco, Saturday, 6:45 p.m.
Phoenix vs. Blackwater, Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
A win by the Beermen will put them in a tie for fifth with the losers of the Fuel Masters-Elite game, but a defeat could see them in a tie with the Road Warriors for sixth place should they beat the also-ran Elasto Painters.
Here are the scenarios:
1. If NLEX loses, SMB will be assured of at least the sixth seed, but the latter can even move up to the fifth seed if it wins. Look at the next scenario.
2. If SMB wins, it will tie either Phoenix or Blackwater for fifth place. That said, let's recap their match-ups.
San Miguel 100 Blackwater 103
San Miguel 117 Phoenix 100
a. If Blackwater loses, Blackwater takes the fifth seed, while SMB takes the sixth seed.
b. If Phoenix loses, SMB takes the fifth seed, while Phoenix takes the sixth seed.
3. If NLEX wins and SMB loses, both teams will end up tied for sixth place. Again, let's check out what happened when they met.
NLEX 112 San Miguel 125
So, SMB will be the sixth seed, while NLEX falls to the seventh seed.
Summary: The Beermen will finish no worse than sixth place after the eliminations no matter what, but they can still move up a rank if they beat the Bolts and the Elite turn back the Fuel Masters. Also, take note that Junemar Fajardo has been reactivated, so don't be surprised if SMB defies the odds.
PS: I did not mention the other Sunday night match-up between TNT and Ginebra above since it will not impact SMB's cause, but it will surely create an impact on NLEX and Meralco's bid especially if Scenario 1 happens and the latter beats SMB. More on that in the next article.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno