QUOTIENT WATCH | The race to the top

Despite falling to Ginebra on Sunday, Magnolia can still claim the top seed. Dennis Acosta (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

ONLY two games.

That's the number of matches that will determine the fate of five teams's bid for the top seed in the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals.

Phoenix will take on Blackwater on Sunday to determine which team will bag the last twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

On the other hand, TNT and Ginebra will collide in the other game with the latter looking to lock in the top seed.

In the last part of this series, we'll look on where each of the five teams that either have the quarterfinal bonus already or still chasing for the said incentive could end up after the said doubleheader.

1. QUOTIENT WATCH | Where could SMB be ranked after Govs' Cup elims?
2. QUOTIENT WATCH | Wild wildcard race ensues of final elims weekend]

Ginebra 8-2
Magnolia 8-3
Alaska 8-3
Blackwater 7-3
Phoenix 7-3

Results of their previous match-ups:
Phoenix 97 Alaska 108
Alaska 101 Ginebra 109
Blackwater 124 Ginebra 118
Magnolia 82 Phoenix 95
Phoenix 99 Ginebra 101
Blackwater 99 Magnolia 133
Magnolia 83 Alaska 73
Blackwater 109 Alaska 116
Ginebra 93 Magnolia 86

While the TNT-Ginebra game will be the nightcap, let's make it the main point of this post since Ginebra has an outright shot at the top seed.

1. If Ginebra wins, Ginebra claims the top seed.

Simple, right? What about the other teams? That's where the Phoenix-Blackwater game comes into play.

Here's the head-to-head quotients (point difference in parenthesis) of Alaska, Magnolia, and each of Phoenix and Blackwater.

Magnolia 1.256 (+44)
Alaska 0.984 (-3)
Blackwater 0.835 (-41)

Phoenix 1.011 (+2)
Alaska 1.006 (+1)
Magnolia 0.982 (-3)

 a. If Phoenix wins, Phoenix claims the second seed, Alaska takes the third seed, and Magnolia settles for the fourth seed.
 b. If Blackwater wins, Magnolia takes the second seed, Alaska remains in third, and Blackwater takes the fourth seed.

The reason why this post was made the last part because a four-way tie at number one has a huger complication than the three-way tie for seventh and a two-way tie for fifth or sixth place considering that you have to consider the results of six games. The four-team logjam can happen if the KaTropa survive against the Barangay.

2. If Ginebra loses, the aforementioned four-way tie will happen, regardless on which among Phoenix and Blackwater will join Ginebra, Magnolia, and Alaska in the logjam. Here are the head-to-head quotients plus the point differences between the Barangay, the Hotshots, the Aces, and either the Fuel Masters or the Elite.

Ginebra 1.059 (+17)
Phoenix 1.000 (0)
Alaska 0.976 (-7)
Magnolia 0.962 (-10)

Magnolia 1.140 (+37)
Ginebra 1.029 (+9)
Alaska 0.964 (-11)
Blackwater 0.905 (-35)

 a. If Phoenix wins, Ginebra still claims the top seed, Phoenix takes the second seed, Alaska takes the third seed, and Magnolia settles for the fourth seed.
 b. If Blackwater wins, Magnolia moves up to number one, Ginebra falls to second, Alaska stays in third, and Blackwater takes the fourth seed.

Summary: Ginebra will seal the top seed if it beats TNT or if Phoenix defeats Blackwater. If the latter happens, Phoenix will claim the second seed in the process. The Hotshots can steal the top seed from the Barangay if and only if the Elite beat the Fuel Masters and the KaTropa shock the Barangay. Blackwater can only finish as high as fourth, but its match against Phoenix could become Game 1 of a virtual best-of-three with the former holding a 1-0 lead if San Miguel loses to Meralco later Saturday. The Aces will surely finish third and will devote the weekend to scout the Beermen and the Fuel Masters.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno