4:15 p.m. — Meralco vs Mahindra
7 p.m. — Star vs Alaska
With eight teams locked in a tight battle for the playoffs, Star and Alaska part ways today even as Meralco and Mahindra try to catch up with the other squads in the upper half of the standings of the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots and the Aces collide in the main game at 7 p.m. right after the match between the Bolts and the Floodbuster at 4:15 p.m.
Star and Alaska are tied at seventh to eighth places with identical 3-3 win-loss record, but a win by either squad will shove one of them in a three-way tie for third to fifth places with GlobalPort and T’NT Ka Tropa.
How these teams could make a good impression in the new year remains to be seen as they’ve been idle for more than two weeks.
Alaska last played on December 23 last year and lost to T’NT, 109-100.
In that game, the Aces were forced to play to the Ka Tropa’s style of play, which was a high-scoring game, something head coach Alex Compton didn’t want to happen. Worse, Alaska was beaten in the rebounding department, 53-44.
Veteran center Sonny Thoss, sidelined since the tournament started, remains on a day-to-day status, and his services is badly needed by the team.
The Hotshots, on the other hand, lost to Barangay Ginebra on Christmas Day.
For Meralco, today’s game against Mahindra gives the squad an opportunity to finally snap its four-game losing skid. Tied in 10th to 11th places with the Nlex Road Warriors, the Bolts will need to win as many games as possible to put them in a better position for a playoff berth.