Photo from PBA

Magnolia Pambansang Manok and Meralco hope to avoid falling to similar must-win situations like teams with similar twice-to-beat incentives as they aim to close out their respective opponents Friday, March 18 in the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Top seed Magnolia plays eighth-ranked Phoenix Super LPG in the nightcap at 6 p.m. after No. 4 Meralco tries to atone for its meltdown during their elimination round meeting with No. 5 San Miguel Beer in the 3 p.m. opener.

Both teams would like to make short work of their quarterfinal foes, something NLEX and TNT failed to do two days ago when they were pushed to do-or-die matches by Alaska and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

There’s motivation for Magnolia to get itself back on track after suffering a shock defeat to Blackwater, which previously lost 29 in a row, to close out the eliminations.

But the Hotshots seemed confident that the defeat at the hands of the Bossing is just a speed bump, and they would like to prove that against the Fuel Masters.

Phoenix took the last quarterfinals berth after a 101-98 win over NorthPort last Sunday thanks to the heroics of Matthew Wright and reserve guard RR Garcia.

Import Mike Harris, Paul Lee and Mark Barroca are expected to play big roles as Magnolia starts the second phase of its drive for a season-ending championship.

Calvin Abueva, who hasn’t played since Christmas due to an injured calf, is expected to be back to provide a big boost for the Hotshots in their title drive.

Meanwhile, Meralco gets a second opportunity at getting a win over San Miguel Beer after a 26-point meltdown in the eliminations.

The Bolts are eager to put their game plan against Beermen import Shabazz Muhammad into proper execution after they watched the former NBA player erupt for 57 points.

Meralco import Tony Bishop is out to atone for his struggles in that game, while Allein Maliksi will try to build on his impressive elimination round showing that saw him fire a lot of outside shots.

SMB will also lean on its very talented core of June Mar Fajardo, Vic Manuel and CJ Perez.

Source: Manila Bulletin (