THE fireworks begin as the quarterfinals of the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup get underway with two explosive matchups right off the bat.
No. 3 Alaska starts its clash with No. 6 NLEX at 4:30 p.m., even as No. 4 Barangay Ginebra and No. 5 Rain or Shine do the same today at 7 p.m. as the two best-of-three series begin at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
While that part of the quarters is all set, the cast is still not yet complete.
As of this report, Phoenix and TNT KaTropa are figuring in a playoff to see, which team earns the No. 8 seed and the last seat in the quarters.
The victor of that will move on and face top seed San Miguel Beer with a twice-to-win disadvantage, while No. 2 Magnolia and No. 7 GlobalPort also have their own affair, with the Hotshots having the incentive.
After a sluggish start to their campaign, the Aces, since then, have been one of the most consistent teams coming into the post-season.
They have won seven of their last nine games entering their series against the Road Warriors, who also have seemed to regain their touch recently.
NLEX ended the elimination round winning four of its last five games to gain some steam.
When the two teams met, NLEX came out on top, 96-89.
In the other pairing, it’s been a roller-coaster campaign so far for both the Gin Kings and the Elasto Painters.
Still, they managed to crawl their way in the middle of the pack to avoid any disadvantages in the quarters.
In fact, these two actually met just last Friday in a classic triple overtime thriller in the last game of the elimination round.
Ginebra emerged victorious, 100-92, to formalize its entry in the top eight after the grueling war of attrition.
Now, just three days after, they meet again with bigger stakes ahead.