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Kings hot on playoff bonus

Games today:
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
3 p.m. — Converge vs Meralco
5:45 p.m. — Ginebra vs Phoenix

The race for the top four berth heats up as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Converge and even Meralco make their last push in the final stretch of the eliminations of the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Kings will tangle with red-hot Phoenix Super LPG at 5:45 p.m. following the 3 p.m. encounter between Converge and Meralco.

Sporting a 5-2 win-loss mark, the Kings found themselves back into the mix following a hard-earned 112-107 win over bitter rivals Bolts last Wednesday to move up to the third spot behind idle TNT Tropang Giga (8-1) and San Miguel Beer (7-1) should they pocket a victory over the peaking Fuel Masters.

Based on the format of the season-ending conference, teams that will finish at the top four at the end of the eliminations will have a guaranteed twice-to-beat bonus going into the playoffs against their lower-seeded rivals.

But Ginebra knows one game could change everything and losing to Phoenix Super LPG is one thing it needs to avoid to have a clearer path going to the next round.

Phoenix’s confidence is growing even more and it appeared to be aided by a bit of luck when it faced an import-less Rain or Shine squad on Wednesday.

The Fuel Masters, however, had to picked up their fourth win in nine games the hard way as they brushed off a late-game scare before pulling off a 114-106 triumph.

Converge and Meralco also clash in another must-win encounter.

Both teams are coming off a loss and are determined to get back on the winning track as a victory could shape up their future ahead of the next round.

The FiberXers were shocked by the Fuel Masters, 106-103, last Sunday in a game where rookie Encho Serrano came out with a breakout performance of 28 points on an 11-of-16 shooting from the field, allowing Phoenix to wield the upset axe on Converge.

Meralco, on the other hand, lost one of the games against Ginebra in a killer stretch and coach Norman Black knows that there is now way for them but up.

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