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But Coca-Cola also needs win to avoid bottom 2 spots

How far into the next phase of the 2009 Motolite Fiesta Conference Rain or Shine and Coca-Cola may reach could depend on how the two teams fare Friday night.

The 7:30 p.m. duel between the Elasto Painters and Tigers at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City is very crucial to both teams.

At 8-5, Rain or Shine is aiming to finish its campaign with a huge victory that would ensure them of at least at playoff for the No.2 seed.

Riding on the crest of a four-game winning streak and coming off a crucial 103-97 win over Barako Bull on Wednesday, the confidence level of the Elasto Painters is no doubt at a high.

“I hope we could keep it up. Coke is a tough team. But we’ll give it our best shot,” said RoS coach Caloy Garcia.

The Tigers (4-7) are scrambling for a victory in an effort to finish their campaign in the middle of the pack and have an even chance in the wild card. Teams which finish from 5th to 8th will engage in knockout matches in the wildcard phase while the bottom two squads will have to win twice over their higher-ranked opponents to stay alive. A loss will put Coca-Cola alongside idle Alaska at 9th.

After Rain or Shine, the Tigers’ remaining assignments are against Barangay Ginebra and SMB. For its part, San Miguel’s march to the Final Four was stalled on Sunday by the Burger King Whoppers via a close 107-105 decision. But Thursday night’s win by Sta. Lucia over Purefoods gave the Beermen a free ride to the 2009 Motolite Fiesta Conference semifinals.

Assured of the No. 1 seed, SMB goes up against tailender Barako Bull at 5 p.m.

In need of a team leader that could keep the team together, Barako Bull is on a six-game losing skid and has won just two of 11 games overall.

Like the Beermen, whatever the game’s outcome will be won’t have any bearing on the Energy Boosters, who will advance to the wild card phase as no. 10 seed and paired against the No.3 seed which enjoys a twice-to-beat advantage.

SMB then winds up its campaign against the Sta. Lucia Realtors on May 15 and the Coca-Cola Tigers on May 22.

Source: http://www.pba.ph/content/view/2630/1/
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