SLR 113, TnT 115

On: 21 April 2008

PBA Fiesta Cup

Last Friday, Talk ’N Text made good use of its high-powered offensive unit as it handed Smart Philippine Cup champion Sta. Lucia Realty its first defeat with a 115-113 win in the season-ending Smart-PBA Fiesta Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Realtors, known for it defense, cannot seem to find the answer again TnT guard Mark Cardona, the Best Player of the Conference in this very same tourney last season. Cardona exploded for 35 points with six rebounds and two steals to lead the Phone Pals, while import Aaron McGhee finished with double-double 29 points and 19 boards.

A former DLSU stalwart, Cardona nailed a jumper that gave his team a 113-106 lead with 45.7 seconds left.

His 35 points, culled from a 14-of-21 shooting from the field including 3-of-5 from the three-point territory, was the highest among locals this conference and was three shy of his career-best 38 points which Cardona recorded in Talk ‘N Text’s series-clinching 122-110 Game 6 win in their best-of-7 semifinal versus Red Bull in last season’s Fiesta Conference.

In the first three wins of the Realtors, they held their opponents to only 89.7 points, a league-best while the Phone Pals ranks second in offense this conference with 99.75 points per game.

In their first meeting this Conference, the Phone Pals got the better end of the match-up as they forced the entire SLR team into a virtual shoot-out.

“Technically what we wanted to do was score a hundred points,” Phone Pals coach Chot Reyes said after the game. “And we were able to get our way offensively against the league’s best defensive team.”

However, more than its offense, Reyes said that it was his players’ will to win against the Realtors.

“Before the game we figured that Sta. Lucia’s strength comes from its energy and confidence. The energy comes from players like Kelly (Williams), Joseph (Yeo) and Ryan (Reyes). Their confidence is of course they’re the (Philippine Cup) champions.”

Import Wesley Wilson led the Realtors with 29 points, while Williams had 24 and 16 rebounds. Dennis Miranda had 15, while Ryan Reyes and Joseph Yeo contributed 13 and 10, respectively. However, it was the 6 rebounds of Wilson, his lowest this Conference, that hastened the Realtors' downfall.

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