The second portion of the 2019 PBA Season, represented in the Commissioner’s Cup, will soon enter into its Playoffs stage. As it stands, seven of the eight starting berths for the playoffs quarterfinals have been filled by the top performing PBA teams in the elimination round. The franchises that have already qualified here are Talk & Text, NorthPort, Blackwater, Ginebra, Magnolia, Rain or Shine, and San Miguel. Phoenix, Columbian and NLEX have already been eliminated from contention, leaving just two teams to fight for the eighth spot: the Alaska Aces and Meralco Bolts. Their fates will be decided Friday night in the final elimination game.
CNN Philippines reports that Meralco and Alaska will go head to head this July 19 at the Mall of Asia Arena. They will play to get the final quarterfinals position for the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs. Granted, the positioning of the slots will mean that whoever wins tonight will face top seeded team the TNT KaTropa, which must be beaten twice. Both the Aces and Bolts have a 4-win and 7-loss game record during the eliminations. And while Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters have the save stats their quotient was poor compared to the two.
Coming into this game, Alaska is in good morale, considering the one time they faced Meralco in the elimination rounds prior to this important match, they won by four points at the Ynares Center, Antipolo. On the other hand they did suffer five consecutive defeats after after a 4-2 run. The Meralco Bolts on the other hand managed to beat the San Miguel Beermen, which is currently the seventh seeded team in the playoffs. On the other hand they too had their own 5-game losing streak before facing San Miguel, with their other wins being spaced widely between the defeats.
Since the Commissioner’s Cup allows for imports to play on teams, Meralco should have some advantage due to their strong import players from past seasons. This year however, both the Bolts and the Aces have new imports in their squads, somehow making them even in that regard as there has been no prior player dynamics formed. Alaska has Diamon Simpson while Meralco gets Delroy James as the lead imports for their respective teams going into this knockout game, and the two are expected to be pitted against each other too.
The final bracket of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Playoffs will be completed with the Alaska-Meralco game at 7PM tonight. While the winner will face Talk & Text, the other matchups in the upcoming quarterfinals are: Ginebra-Magnolia (Best of 3), NorthPort-San Miguel (Twice-to-beat), and BlackWater-Rain or Shine (Best of 3).
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News