PBA Commissioner’s Cup: An updated guide to all the different scenarios still in play

Updated after Barangay Ginebra San Miguel beat Converge, 115-96. Earlier, NLEX eliminated Meralco, 92-81. (The Rivalry mistakenly reported that there would be a two-step playoff in the event that NLEX, Rain or Shine and Meralco end up tied at 5-7. Meralco is in fact now eliminated after losing to NLEX due to an inferior quotient. We apologize for the error.)

More than two months after the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup started last September 21, 2022, the quarterfinals cast has yet to be determined. The conference has been marked by several blowout games – a 54-point victory by Bay Area over Terrafirma, a 51-point shellacking of Phoenix over the same Dyip, a 46-point beatdown by the Dragons over the Bossing. 

Terrafirma was on the cusp of matching, if not, exceeding Blackwater’s dubious PBA record for most consecutive games lost at 29 games until they pulled out a stunning 124-114 win over the NLEX Road Warriors, thereby stopping their own losing skid at 25.

With three remaining games on two playdates, there are a couple of guaranteed situations already. Bay Area is already assured of the top seed and will face the no. 8 team in the quarterfinals with a twice-to-beat advantage. Blackwater, Terrafirma and, surprisingly, perennial league favorites TNT Tropang Giga have been eliminated. Here are the standings as of Nov. 30 and the schedule of the remaining games:

Bay Area 10-2** 

Magnolia 9-2* (ROS) 

Ginebra 9-3*

Converge 8-4*

SMB 6-5 (Meralco)

Northport 6-6 

Phoenix 6-6

ROS 5-6 (Magnolia)

NLEX 5-7

X – Meralco 4-7 (SMB)

X – TNT 4-8  

X – Blackwater 3-9

X – Terrafirma 1-11

** – clinched twice-to-beat advantage

* – clinched quarterfinal berth

X – eliminated

Remaining games: 

November 30 (PhilSports Arena) 

3:00 PM: NLEX def. Meralco, 92-81

5:45 PM: Ginebra def. Converge, 115-96

December 2 (PhilSports Arena) 

3:00 PM: SMB vs. Meralco 

5:45 PM: ROS vs. Magnolia

Now let’s look down at the remaining scenarios that may happen in the remaining four games.


Two teams – Magnolia and Ginebra – are still in contention for the second seed which will give them a twice-to-beat advantage as well. Magnolia has the inside track with a 9-2 card, while Ginebra is at 9-3. The scenarios:

A.     Magnolia and Ginebra win

Magnolia will end up second, Ginebra will finish third, while Converge will finish fourth.

B.    Magnolia loses and Ginebra wins

Ginebra will finish second, Magnolia will end up third, while Converge will finish fourth.


Five teams – SMB, Phoenix, Rain or Shine, Northport, and NLEX – are still in the hunt for the remaining four berths. Meralco has been eliminated following their loss to NLEX.

NorthPort and Phoenix have already finished their respective campaigns, toting 6-6 win-loss cards. Rain or Shine will still have to face Magnolia, the latter needing to win to earn the twice-to-beat advantage. Meralco is now out after losing to NLEX, which must hope for a Magnolia win over Rain or Shine to stay in contention.

The scenarios:

A.    2-way tie between Phoenix and NorthPort (6-6) and a separate 2-way tie between NLEX and ROS (5-7) (SMB beats Meralco, Magnolia beats ROS)

SMB will advance to fifth place, NorthPort will take sixth, Phoenix will end up seventh, while NLEX and ROS will have a KO game for the eighth and last seat.

B.    3-way tie among Phoenix, NorthPort and SMB (6-6) and a separate 3-way tie among Meralco, ROS and NLEX at 5-7 (Meralco beats SMB, Magnolia beats ROS)

SMB (+22) will advance to fifth place by virtue of owning the highest quotient, Phoenix (-7) will end up sixth, while NorthPort (-15) will finish seventh.

ROS, NLEX and Meralco will end up tied for 8th. Meralco is eliminated with the lowest quotient, NLEX and ROS face each other in a playoff for the last QF slot. 

C.    4-way tie among SMB, Phoenix, NorthPort and ROS (ROS beats Magnolia, Meralco beats SMB but loses to NLEX) at 6-6

Based on the four teams’ winning margins against each other, SMB (+30) will finish fifth, Phoenix (-1) stays at sixth, ROS (-13) will end up seventh while NorthPort (-16) drops to eighth. Meralco and NLEX are eliminated.

With so many scenarios prevalent, the bad news is that predicting where the teams will end up in the standings and which teams will qualify to the playoffs is still difficult to call. The good news is that we’re bound for four exciting games starting this Wednesday – all games with bearing that would determine the final outcome. 


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