With teams in the midst of an intense final push for the playoffs, the PBA will pause to enjoy the festivities and entertainment of its annual All-Star Weekend. The biggest and brightest stars will troop to Calasiao, Pangasinan for the next three days to showcase their skills and to thrill the fans that will come out to support them.
But the reality is while everyone will be having fun, the playoffs will still be on everyone's mind throughout the entire weekend. Some teams' fate still hangs in the balance. The top-seeded squads do not know who to scout and prepare for.
With only two games remaining in the elimination round, the playoff picture is getting clearer. The Magnolia Hotshots face the NLEX Road Warriors, and Barangay Ginebra tangles with the NorthPort Batang Pier on Wednesday. Only after those two games will we get a final picture of the quarterfinal matchups.
Here's what we know:
Phoenix is No. 1 and Rain or Shine is No. 2.
TNT and San Miguel are locked in as the 4th and 5th seeds, respectively, and will compete in best-of-3 series
Barangay Ginebra is No. 3.
Magnolia has already qualified for the playoffs, regardless of the outcome of its final game
Meralco, Blackwater, Columbian are eliminated.
NLEX and NorthPort have a chance to qualify. The worst-case scenario is the two have to battle in a one-game playoff.
The only chance for Alaska to make the playoffs is via a one-game playoff
Five is the magic number of wins for an outright qualification to the playoffs, regardless of seeding.
There's plenty we do not know. NLEX, NorthPort, and Alaska are still battling for the final two playoff spots. The Road Warriors and Batang Pier are 4-6, while Alaska finished their elims at 4-7. Four scenarios remain, depending on what happens on the final playdate.
Scenario 1: NLEX and NorthPort win
The Road Warriors can climb to as high as sixth if they can beat Magnolia by 10 points. Meanwhile, NorthPort will advance to the playoffs as the No. 8 seed.
Scenario 2: NLEX and Ginebra win
Since NLEX and Magnolia will finish with identical 5-6 records, the Road Warriors will climb to No. 6 as a result of their win over the other. The Hotshots will drop to No. 7.
A NorthPort loss will drop them to 4-7 and a tie with the Alaska Aces. They will have to dispute the No. 8 seed with a playoff game to determine which team will face the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
Scenario 3: Magnolia and NorthPort win
The Hotshots will claim the No. 6 seed at 6-5, while the Batang Pier will finish No. 7 at 5-6. That will leave Alaska and NLEX in a one-game playoff for the final spot.
Scenario 4: Magnolia and Ginebra win
Magnolia finishes No. 6 and NLEX will end up No. 7. NorthPort and Alaska, both at 4-7, face off in a one-game playoff to determine who is the No. 8 seed and advances to face the Fuel Masters in the quarterfinals.