SLR 111, Welcoat 97

On: 05 May 2008

PBA Fiesta Cup

After suffering from their first back-to-back losses this conference, the Sta. Lucia Realtors are back in business with a 111-97 victory against the Welcoat Dragons, a team trying to extend their winning streak to three.

It was an emphatic win last Sunday which saw the Realtors holding the Dragons' imports scoreless in the opening period, which many believed as the first time in the 33-year-old league where two reinforcements went dry over a frame. Marquis Gainous and Coree Santee combined for 0-of-7 field shooting in the first period and allowed the Realtors to get off to an explosive start and sustained their charge for majority of the way to fashion out a cruising victory.

The win push the Realtors to 4-2 or just half a game away from league-leaders Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Talk N' Text, which all have 5-2 records. More importantly, the win showcase what the Realtors do best in winning last conference's crown - play defense.

“We were not playing real defense, we were not moving our feet and we were bailing out our opponents,” reminisced Realtors coach Boyet Fernandez after their last two defeats.

Yesterday was a different matter. Aside from holding Gainous to only 14 points and Santee 12 points and 3 assists, the Realtors controlled the pace of the game and only allowed the entire Welcoat team to shoot a measly 41.7 percent from the floor. Gainous used to average 27.5 points before the game and Santee 17.7 ppg and 7.3 assists.

“The players did their homework,” beamed Fernandez. “Everybody defended well, especially our wing guys who did not get into foul trouble like in our previous two games.”

For Fernandez, taking away Santee’s usual drive-and-dish game, preventing Gainous from gaining any real momentum on his drives and limiting most of the Welcoat locals from chipping in any ample share were the factors for teh win.

“Santee usually penetrates and creates opportunities for his teammates and so their (Welcoat’s) plays usually emanate from him. So I told (Dennis) Miranda to concentrate on him,”said SLR coach Boyet Fernandez.

“Si ‘Cap” (Dennis Espino) naman ang nag-take charge kay Gainous and he really did a terrific job defending him.”

With Miranda and Espino holding the fort, Wesley Wilson and Ryan Reyes took over spearheading the offense, propping the Realtors to as much as a 55-30 lead and well on their way to dropping their foes to a 2-5 slate.

Wilson finish the game with 24 points, 9 rebounds in a span of 31 minutes. Reyes, who emerged as the game's best player, added 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals in 24 minutes. He also shot 50 percent from beyond the arc, sinking 2 of his 4 attempts.

Dennis Daa also made a good account of himself as he took over the scoring cudgel from Kelly Williams by scoring 11 points in just 12 minutes. Others who played well for the Realtors include Joseph Yeo, 9 points, Norman Gonzalez, 8 points and Melvin Mamaclay, 5 points in just a minute on the floor, including a 3-point buzzer beater.

With everyone doing their share on both defensive and offensive ends of the floor, Williams' 10 points and 9 rebounds are just icing on the cake.

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