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Phoenix-Meralco clash crucial in possible 4-way tie for last 3 twice-to-beat spots

Luigi Trillo and the Meralco Bolts can still finish at number one, but they could also fall to a four-way tie for second to fifth places. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

PHOENIX and Meralco have one game at hand over San Miguel and Ginebra as the PBA Commissioner's Cup elimination round winds down to its final week.

However, that match is in the form of a Wednesday night clash at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, which could potentially give one among the Fuel Masters and the Bolts the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

The said game will matter too in the final quotients for the said teams and the Beermen and the Gin Kings should a four-way tie for second to fifth places ensue.

With Magnolia already booking one Top 4 bonus in the quarterfinals, only one of Phoenix, Meralco, SMB, and Ginebra will drop to the fifth seed and the twice-to-beat disadvantage in the next round.

As aforementioned, the most complicated situation is if a four-way tie at 8-3 takes place at the end of the eliminations.

The winners between the Fuel Masters and the Bolts will surely go up to 8-2 in the standings and the other team will fall to 7-3, but they could still end up tied at 8-3 in the end if their fortunes get reversed in their last game.

The Beerman and the Gin Kings could also still go up to 8-3 if they win their last games over the weekend.

Should there indeed be a tie at 8-3, the Phoenix-Meralco game will matter if both teams are in the said tie, either due to the winner-over-the-other or the quotient rule.

As an added bonus, though, if the Bolts beat the Fuel Masters, the former could still finish as the number-one seed if they beat the Terrafirma Dyip since the Bolts own the tiebreaker over the Hotshots due to their 85-80 win in Iloilo on Saturday night.

Essentially speaking, both Phoenix and Meralco have all the reasons to say their game is a must-win.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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