Two games pitting hot and cold teams will be the theme on Saturday as playoff positioning heats up in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Magnolia battles Rain or Shine at 4 p.m. before Meralco faces TNT at 6:45 p.m. as the league makes a temporary return to its traditional doubleheader slate after holding three to four games a day since the eliminations resumed.
Both results will play a crucial role in the eventual placings of these four teams once the elims conclude Wednesday.
Fourth-running Meralco (5-3) and eighth place Magnolia (4-4) enter the two contests with winning streaks produced in timely manner.
The Bolts are closing in on the quarters berth that have eluded them in the all-Filipino tourney for almost half-a-decade following back-to-back wins over the Blackwater Elite and the Elasto Painters.
On the other hand, the Hotshots bucked a 1-4 start by defeating Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, the Tropang Giga and Terrafirma Dyip to gain an inside track at a top eight finish.
Meralco faces TNT, which lost its hold on top spot following Friday night’s 85-79 loss to new leader Ginebra while Magnolia battles a Rain or Shine side that dropped its last two assignments.
TNT dropped to a share of second with Phoenix at 6-3, but remains in a good position to claim a twice-to-beat advantage.
The Tropang Giga have actually lost the last two games and three of the previous four meetings. Rain or Shine dropped from inside the top four to sixth place with a 4-3 slate following losses to NLEX (94-74) and Meralco (85-78).
Ending their slump will be a morale-booster for TNT and Rain or Shine as it tries to have that needed momentum at the end of the elims.