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Magnolia Pambansang Manok and San Miguel Beer square off in a match that could make or break their bid for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals as part of a PBA Philippine Cup tripleheader Sunday, Sept. 18 at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The Hotshots-Beermen tussle is set at 4:35 p.m. with the winner likely to stay within striking distance of the Meralco Bolts for the quarterfinal bonus and the loser possibly relegated to a best-of-three affair.

With Meralco posting a 104-97 win and needing just one win to clinch a twice-to-beat after improving to 7-2, both teams’ fortunes for the bonus are no longer in their hands.

Magnolia is in third at 7-3 going into its elimination round finale while SMB holds a 6-3 mark with two to play.

Both San Miguel Corporation squads are coming off contrasting victories last Friday, with the Hotshots escaping the NorthPort Batang Pier, 90-89, on a buzzer-beater by Calvin Abueva and the Beermen routing the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, 110-80.

San Miguel is expected to miss Terrence Romeo, who hurt his right foot against Phoenix, leaving coach Leo Austria without the team’s top scorer at 19.0 per game.

But given its deep lineup, SMB can quickly fill up Romeo’s absence with CJ Perez, among others, capable of taking charge.

Rain or Shine also tries to keep a slim chance of getting the twice-to-beat against NorthPort in the 2 p.m. curtain raiser to wrap up its elims campaign.

The Elasto Painters return from a week-long layoff, needing a win to finish the eliminations at 7-4.

NorthPort is out to bounce back from that last-second defeat to Magnolia and enhance its quest for a quarters spot. The Batang Pier sit in seventh position at 4-5 but have lost three straight.

Alaska concludes a busy schedule of playing in three straight days opposite Terrafirma at 7 p.m.

The Aces, now in ninth place at 3-5 and a half-game behind 4-5 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, need a quick turnaround after bowing 105-83 to the TNT Tropang Giga.

Source: Manila Bulletin (