PHOENIX Super LPG aims to not only arrest its slide but also greatly enhance its chances of making it past the eliminations when it battles Terrafirma at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the PhilSports Arena.
With a cellar-dwelling 1-10 record the Dyip have long been eliminated from the race for one of the eight quarterfinals berths and are now simply looking to end their conference campaign on a bright note.
For their part, the 5-6 Fuel Masters are in the thick of the fight for a quarterfinals spot and would be assured of at least playing off for that coveted slot should they snap out of a three-game slide.
According to league chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III, six wins should be enough to get one through since five wins were all that were needed in previous editions of the tourney. "Before kasi 12 teams tayo, but now there are 13 so I think just one more (win) should suffice," he opined.
Mangonon added that the Friday match pitting 4-6 Rain or Shine against 3-8 Blackwater should also help lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over Phoenix and other teams wanting to advance outright.
"Kapag natalo Rain or Shine then there would be five teams with at least seven losses so six wins would be enough to automatically make it through with five possibly playing off," noted Mangonon.
Surely, Phoenix wants to take care of its end of the business first and then let the cards fall where they may.
The Fuel Masters' path to the next round would have been clearer if not for its skid which was capped by a sorry 104-108 loss to San Miguel Beer last Saturday.
Certainly, Phoenix must be on its toes against a Terrafirma side wanting nothing more than to emerge with some semblance of pride from yet another conference of futility that saw it lose 10 in a row to extend its freefall from last season to 25 games.
The Dyip's hopes of becoming spoilers are also boosted by the fact that Lester Prosper and Alex Cabagnot, heroes in their slide-stopping 124-114 win over NLEX but absent in a 103-131 loss to Bay Area last week, are to suit up anew. (NC)