MANILA, Philippines – In a crucial matchup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, the Phoenix Super LPG and NorthPort teams, initially underestimated at the start of the season, clash on Wednesday in the ongoing PBA 48th Season Commissioner’s Cup. Both squads aim to enhance their postseason prospects, adding an element of unpredictability to the competition as they strive to solidify their positions in the standings and advance in the highly competitive tournament.
The Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, with a commanding 6 to 1 win-loss record, have already secured a quarter-finals berth, but their sights are set on extending their winning streak, currently standing at five games. The team aims to further solidify its position by vying for a twice-to-beat advantage in the upcoming playoffs.
In contrast, the NorthPort Batang Pier and the San Miguel Beermen find themselves tied for fourth place with identical 5 to 3 win-loss records, both striving to secure a slot in the quarterfinals. Their matchup becomes crucial as it will impact their standings and playoff prospects in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
NorthPort’s earlier triumphs, including an 82 to 77 victory over the reigning champion Barangay Ginebra in San Jose, Batangas, showcased the team’s capabilities. Rookie Kenneth Tuffin and import Jonathan Williams played pivotal roles in the win. Despite a subsequent loss to Meralco on December 10, the Batang Pier had previously secured victories in two out of three games during a demanding five-day stretch.
Key to NorthPort’s success has been the outstanding performance of Arvin Tolentino, who leads all local scorers with an impressive average of 23.8 points per match. As they face formidable opponents, NorthPort relies on Tolentino’s scoring prowess and the collective efforts of the team to secure victories and strengthen their playoff position in the highly competitive PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
AIMING TO REBOUND, MAGNOLIA
Magnolia Chicken Timplados is eager to return to the win column as they face Terrafirma in the second game following a recent setback. The Hotshots, who embarked on an impressive seven-game winning streak to kick off the conference, faced their first defeat last Saturday in Cagayan De Oro, falling 113 to 110 to Rain or Shine.
Now, Magnolia sets its sights on a matchup with Terrafirma, a team currently enduring a challenging phase with four consecutive losses, placing them in the ninth spot with a 2 to 5 win-loss record. Despite Terrafirma’s recent struggles, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero emphasizes the need for vigilance, cautioning against complacency when facing a team in the lower half of the standings. The recent performance of Terrafirma against Rain or Shine serves as a reminder that every team in the league, regardless of their standing, has the potential to present formidable challenges. Magnolia aims to regroup, learn from their recent loss, and approach the Terrafirma game with determination to resume their winning ways in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup.