MANILA—The race for the crown is now narrowed to nine as Sta. Lucia Realty faces Rain or Shine while Burger King takes on Coca-Cola Sunday in the knockout wildcard phase of the 35th PBA-KFC Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Center.

No. 1 San Miguel Beer and No. 2 Alaska Aces go into the best-of-seven semifinal round with identical 13-5 slate, while Ginebra (12-6), Purefoods (12-6) and Talk ‘N Text (11-7) made it to the best-of-five quarterfinals.

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Only Barako Bull, which won only three of 18 matches, dropped out of contention and will return in March for the Fiesta Conference.

The winner between the Realtors and the Elasto Painters will face off the winner between the Whoppers and the Tigers on Wednesday to determine the final quarterfinalist.

The Realtors, who failed to clinch outright quarterfinal berth following a 78-88 setback to Purefoods last Friday, are slightly-favored to make it to the second round of the wildcard as they swept the Elasto Painters in their two meetings in the elimination round.