MANILA - The Coca-Cola Tigers took advantage of the absence of San Miguel Beer for a 118-107 victory yesterday and keep their hopes of making it to the wildcard phase alive in the 35th PBA-KFC Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen were playing without the 6’9” Jay Washington, 6’7” Dorian Pena and 6’6” Danny Seigle due to injuries and their absence gave Asi Taulava ample space to lead the Tigers to their fourth win in 16 matches.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

But the woes are not over yet for the Tigers as they still need to win against Rain or Shine on Friday and Barako Bull next week to avoid outright elimination.

The 6’9” Taulava had an easy day, firing 27 points on top or 15 rebounds. The 6’4” Norman Gonzales provided 22 points and RJ Rizada settled with 20 points as the Tigers avenged an 108-84 loss to the Beermen last Nov. 21 in Cebu City.

“We were lucky to catch San Miguel Beer in a game that has no more bearing to them but was very important for us. We have to feel better with ourselves because we have two important games left,” said Coca-Cola coach Bo. Perasol

Perasol was referring to the Beermen’s entry into the best-of-seven semifinal round even if they will drop their last two remaining matches.

No other team except Alaska, which can still accumulate at least 13 wins, can overtake the BEermen at the top.

“We have to make sure that we don’t get eliminated. So we have to win against San Miguel and win our last two games. We have to go out fighting and grab every opportunity to advance into the wildcard,” added Perasol.