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What's on the line for SMB, Meralco, Magnolia, TNT entering final twinbill of PBA Comm Cup elims?

For TNT, the top seed is now within reach. Dennis Acosta (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

WITH only one playdate left in the elimination round of the PBA Commissioner's Cup, everything is still at stake in terms of jockeying for playoff positions.

And for the four teams in action for the all-important doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, they can dictate their fate on whether they will move up or down the rankings.

Here are the names of the game for these four squads:

San Miguel and Magnolia: Top 6

For San Miguel and Magnolia, a win will be an imperative for them as that is the only way for either of them to lock a spot in the Top 6 and evade a quarterfinal disadvantage.

For the Hotshots, however, they may need to watch what happens to the game between the Beermen and the Bolts as a win by the Beermen and a loss by the Hotshots will drop the latter to the seventh seed—and a once-to-beat disadvantage against the NorthPort Batang Pier in the quarterfinals.

But if there is one team that would like to see Magnolia winning too, that would be SMB as a win by the former will assure the latter a Top 6 finish even if it falls to Meralco as SMB holds the winner-over-the-other tiebreaker over Rain Or Shine should they end up tied at 5-6 thanks to its 89-87 win on Saturday night in Cagayan De Oro.

Should both the Bolts and the TNT KaTropa prevail, a three-way tie at 5-6 ensues between the Elasto Painters, the Beermen, and the Hotshots for fifth place, and thanks to the Hotshots' 118-82 blowout over the Beermen on June 26, the Hotshots got the best head-to-head quotient and will take the fifth seed, the Elasto Painters breach into the Top 6 as the sixth seed, and the Beermen will fall to the seventh seed against the Batang Pier with the playoff handicap.

Meralco: Survival

Meanwhile, it's do-or-die Wednesday for Meralco as only a win will keep the team in the playoff race.

All the Bolts could only do is to beat the Beermen to force a three-way tie between at 4-7 for eighth place with the Alaska Aces and the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

With Alaska and Meralco holding the two best quotients, they will dispute the last quarterfinal seat in the wildcard playoff on Friday night and Phoenix will be eliminated outright.

The Fuel Masters will also monitor the game as a win by the Beermen will knock the Bolts out of playoff contention, leading to a grudge match between the Fuel Masters and the Aces for the eighth seed.

TNT: Top seed

With Terrence Jones on board, TNT has been playing its best performance in recent years, going 9-1 so far in its Commissioner's Cup campaign and is on track on finishing the eliminations as the top seed.

But that one loss came from NorthPort, the other team chasing the number one seed in the playoffs, through a 110-86 rout on May 29.

The Batang Pier are just closely behind the KaTropa at 9-2, which means they can clinch the top seed if—and only if—the KaTropa fall to the Hotshots thanks to the winner-over-the-other rule.

With that said, only a win against Magnolia can give TNT the top seed, so this is also a must-win for TNT if it wants to finish at the top.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno