Fired-up Magnolia roared to a sixth straight win and to a sure Top 6 finish with a rout of Rain or Shine Wednesday night that effectively completed the PBA Philippine Cup playoff cast.
The Hotshots blasted the depleted Elasto Painters, 118-87, and thus, slammed the quarters door shut on Rain or Shine (4-7), North Port (3-7) and Phoenix Super LPG (3-7).
A win by Converge earlier followed by the Magnolia triumph made the FiberXers (5-6) the eighth quarterfinalist, joining early qualifiers San Miguel Beermen (9-2), TNT Tropang Giga (8-3), Magnolia Hotshots (7-3), Ginebra Kings (7-3), Meralco Bolts (6-4), NLEX Road Warriors (5-5) and Blackwater Bossing (5-5).
Jockeying for position continues, though, up to the last play date of the elims, determining the playoff matchups.
San Miguel and TNT are assured of the Top Two and the twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals. The rest of the quarterfinalists will continue to fight for seedings.
The Hotshots go for No. 3 spot as they tackle the Bossing in the final game of the elims Friday at the Big Dome.
A three-way tie at second among TNT, Magnolia and Ginebra at 8-3 is a possibility. In such eventuality, the Tropang Giga, the Hotshots and the Kings finish in that order by virtue of the quotient tiebreak.