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Monel Kallos thinks Bicol 'destined' to make MPBL playoffs

Monel Kallos believes a playoff spot is now within Bicol's reach. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN--Bicol scored a very important win in its chase to make the MPBL playoffs on Tuesday night, rallying in the fourth quarter to beat Sarangani, 86-72, at the Alonte Sports Arena here.

The win means a lot for the Volcanoes as they maintained control of their destiny as far as the race for the last playoff spot in the Southern Division is concerned.

While the other teams chasing for the wildcard in the South, Cebu and Binan City, can still dictate their respective fates as they still have have games at hand compared to Bicol's remaining schedule, Coach Monel Kallos believes that, basing on the strength of schedule, his Bicol squad will still emerge as the eighth seed at least.

"Nandoon kami sa sitwasyon na talagang parang destined na pumasok kami sa playoffs," Kallos told Dugout Philippines after the win.

Among the remaining South teams in the playoff hunt, the Volcanoes have the "lightest" schedule on paper.

They still have the Quezon City Capitals, their next opponents, on Saturday night and the Rizal Crusaders on Jan. 30, two teams that are already out of playoff contention and are struggling lately. Their toughest opponents left are the GenSan Warriors, who the Volcanoes play on Feb. 1.

"Medyo kapantay namin yung makakalaban namin," Kallos assessed Bicol's remaining assignments.

While the Sharks also have some also-ran oppositions, the Imus Bandera also on Saturday night and the Paranaque Patriots on Feb. 5, in their remaining matches, they too have tough assignments coming up, the Pampanga Giant Lanterns next Tuesday, the Bataan Risers on Feb. 3, and the Batangas City Athletics on Feb. 13.

The Heroes have the toughest schedule at the remainder of their regular season campaign as they have the Pasig Realtors, that they will actually play at home later Tuesday, the Pasay Voyagers on Friday night, the Iloilo United Royals on Monday night, and the Davao Occidental Tigers on Feb. 4, four teams that are either chasing a playoff spot or looking for a better playoff seeding.

"Mabibigat na yung mga naiwan nilang games," Kallos further said.

But despite the latest playoff picture, he insisted that there is still no reason to relax.

"We'll still work hard in practice. Lagi ko namang sinasabi sa kanila, 'Every win counts. We need to sacrifice kung gusto talaga natin makuha yung goal natin,'" Kallos quipped.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno