Meralco leads the six teams that have already secured their quarters berth in Leg 5 of the 2023 PBA 3×3 First Conference on Monday at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay.
The Bolts wasted no time securing back-to-back wins in Pool C.
They started by defeating Ginebra with a final score of 18-13, and then continued their dominance by outplaying Pioneer Elastoseal, closing the match with a score of 19-14.
With their big man Alfred Batino leading the charge, Meralco eyes a three-game sweep of the pool play with a win over winless Wilcon Depot (0-2) in Tuesday’s morning session prior to the quarterfinals.
TNT, Pioneer Elastoseal, Ginebra, Northport, and last week’s leg winner Cavitex also secured their spots in the knockout stage.
The Triple Giga, despite missing top gun Almond Vosotros, emerged on top of Pool B with a 2-1 slate. They secured victories against Purefoods (15-14) and Blackwater (21-14) but suffered a close defeat against San Miguel (20-18).
Pioneer Elastoseal showed determination and earned the second quarterfinals berth in Pool C with their 2-1 record. They secured victories over Wilcon Depot (18-11) and Barangay Ginebra (21-19) but faced a loss against the Bolts (19-14).
Though Ginebra had a 1-2 record in Pool C, they are guaranteed a spot in the next round because of their head-to-head encounter against Wilcon (21-15), even if the guest team manages to beat Meralco in their final outing.
Pool A had an intense competition as Cavitex, Northport, and Terrafirma all finished with similar 1-1 records. However, it was the Braves and Batang Pier who advanced to the quarterfinals after garnering the most number of points scored at the end of pool play. The Batang Pier tallied 38 points, Braves with 36, and Dyip with 34.
The remaining two quarterfinal berths will be determined after the crucial game between Purefoods and Blackwater, both tied with 1-1 slates in Pool B.
The stakes are high, and the competition is fierce. The winner between the Titans and Smooth Razor will advance outright, while the loser will have to compete with San Miguel (1-2) for the final ticket to the next round. The Beermen faced losses against Purefoods (21-19) and Blackwater (19-17).
The champion of Leg 5 will take home P100,000, the runner-up will receive P50,000, and the third placer will get P30,000.
In previous legs of the conference, we witnessed thrilling performances from different teams. Barangay Ginebra claimed victory in Legs 1 and 2, while TNT dominated Leg 3, and Cavitex emerged victorious in the last leg.