SLR 89, PF 104

On: 28 June 2008

PBA Fiesta Cup

It was a tight, intense-filled contest which slowly simmered down after Lee Benson limped to the bench with a strained muscle early in the second period.

Purefoods capitalized on moments Lee was out of the floor, drubbing Sta. Lucia Realty, 104-89, to stay in the hunt for an outright quarterfinals entry in the 2008 Smart PBA Fiesta Conference at the Araneta Coliseum Friday night.
Intensity built up between the old rivals right in the first half prompting the referees to immediately call on the two teams’ skippers for a huddle.

But tension died down naturally as the Giants imposed their will coming from the halftime break, erecting a commanding 79-62 lead going into the final canto.

Lee twice returned to the floor but there was no more stopping the Giants on the way to eighth win against nine losses.

The Realtors slid to ninth with a 7-9 card. And worse, Lee’s status is doubtful in their last two games against Red Bull and Coca-Cola.

Sta. Lucia took the first quarter at 23-18 but yielded the first half at 42-48 and fell further behind in the third quarter with Lee taking a long rest after hurting his left leg just a minute into the second period.

"Coming into the game, our mindset was it’s already the playoffs. In the playoffs, you have to be strong. It helped that their import got injured," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

"With a game to play, we’ll certainly play at an optimum level. We’ll do that against Air21. Hopefully, we finish at 9-9 and that would be enough for us to make it outright into the quarters. If not, we’re ready to go through the hard way," Gregorio also said.

The Giants went through easy way against the Realtors with Reda Rhalimi throwing his weight around in the absence of Benson, and Peter June Simon, James Yap, Kerby Raymundo and Roger Yap helping along the way.

Rhalimi came through with 25 points and 10 rebounds as against Benson’s 10 points and 10 rebounds.

With Lee confined on the bench, Reda Rhalimi struck hard in the second canto, putting in 13 points, three rebounds and one assist.

The two Yaps had sterling all-round performances with James logging 19 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two steals and Roger Yap piling up 11 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals.

Simon contributed 24 points and Raymundo chipped in 13 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Purefoods completed an elimination-round twinkill against the Sta. Lucia squad which conquered them in their All-Filipino titular showdown.- (Source: PBA Site)

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