MANILA—Defending champion Talk ‘N Text and Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants try to keep their hope for an outright semis spot alive when they face separate foes in the 35th PBA-KFC Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum today.

The Tropang Texters are highly-favored over Barako Bull in their 6:30 p.m. encounter, while Purefoods needs to win over Rain or Shine in the 4 p.m. match.

Talk ‘N Text, aiming to become the first team in as many decades to retain an All-Filipino crown, is in a must-win situation over the Energy Boosters to remain in contention for at least a playoff for the second automatic semis berth.

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Only the second best-of-seven outright semis incentive remain available after San Miguel Beer clinched the first following a 94-85 victory over the Energy Boosters on Friday.

With a 13-3 slate, the Beermen are beyond reach by Purefoods, Talk ‘N Text, Ginebra and Sta. Lucia.

The four teams can only muster at most 12 victories even if they sweep their remaining games in the double-round elimination.

Alaska (11-2) is the only team which may make the 13-win circle.