SLR 88,Welcoat 79

On: 25 May 2008

PBA Fiesta Cup

If last Friday was a bad night for the Sta. Lucia Realtors, it was worse for the Welcoat Dragons. The Realtors committed at least 10 travelling violations, but the Dragons missed four important free throws with less than a minute to go and the Realtors up by only one to basically hand the game to the SLR, 88-79.

The Dragons suffered a third straight defeat and moved further down the chart with a 3-8 slate while the Realtors is half a game behind the leaders with a 6-4 record in the 2008 Smart PBA Fiesta Conference Friday night at the Ynares Center here.

Wesley Wilson was the best player of the game as he came up with his personal conference high numbers with Dennis Espino groping for form and Marlou Aquino sitting out the contest due to fever. Wilson threw his full weight against Marquis Gainous and his Welcoat teammates as he bounced back from a dismal 9-point output in Cagayan de Oro City loss to the Talk N' Text Phone Pals one week ago.

The former Georgetown Hoya came up with 34 points, 19 rebounds and four assists – all personal conference highs – and the Realtors upended the Dragons to catch up with the Air21 Express at fourth place with a 6-4 card.

"The timing was perfect for Wesley to come through with that kind of game," said Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez of his 6-foot-11 import who bounced back strong from a poor nine-point showing the last time out.

The Realtors set out for the game short-handed with Aquino nursing a fever. The going got tougher for Sta. Lucia with Espino struggling with his game.

But thanks, too, for the efforts of Kelly Williams and Ryan Reyes, Sta. Lucia survived the ordeal, getting back on track, just half a game-behind joint leaders Red Bull, Talk n Text and Coca-Cola at 7-4.

Williams logged 16 points and seven rebounds while Reyes had a near triple-double performance with 12 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Espino went scoreless in only seven minutes of action. Paolo Mendoza, another veteran SLR mainstay, also finished with a fat zero.

Blowing hot and cold, the Realtors pulled through on a 13-1 closing run.

The Realtors went on the killer attack just after squandering an 11-point lead and falling behind at 78-75 with 3:36 left to play.

The Dragons slowly faded away, losing the momentum of their fourth-quarter siege on five straight missed free throws.

Corey Santee, who made eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, accounted for two missed free throws and later bungled a crucial three-point attempt.

Welcoat went without a field-goal basket in the last 3:26 of play.

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