SLR 85, Ginebra 113

On: 17 July 2008

PBA Fiesta Cup

Barangay Ginebra proved too much against an all-Filipino Sta. Lucia Realty as it hammered a 113-85 win in Game Two to clinch a semifinal berth in the Smart-PBA Fiesta Conference Wednesday night at the Ynares Sports Center here.

With import Lee Benson out after the Realtors management decided not to play him, the Kings dominated the game as they closed out the best-of-three quarterfinal showdown via a 2-0 sweep.

Barangay Ginebra, which won the series opener, 92-90, last Sunday, got a team-high 22 points from Jay-Jay Helterbrand, while seven-foot import Chris Alexander collected 19 points and 14 rebounds.

Mark Caguioa, who exploded for 30 points in Game One, came off the bench to add 19 points, while Junthy Valenzula had 15 and Paul Artadi contributed a personal conference-high 12 points and a personal season-high 11 assists and six steals.

Barangay Ginebra plays outright semifinalist Red Bull in a best-of-seven series starting Sunday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

“(Red Bull is) really playing well right now. We have to do our homework, there’s no time to rest for us,” said Uichico, who expects a long series with the Barakos.

Red Bull defeated Barangay Ginebra twice in the eliminations.

Top qualifier Air21 meets the winner between Magnolia-Coca-Cola winner in the other semifinal pairing.

The Realtors management decided to play with an all-Filipino lineup after it had a falling out with the 6-foot-10 Benson.

SLR team manager and governor Buddy Encarnado said Benson allegedly threatened not to play well in Game Two of the series against Barangay Ginebra after several of his requests were turned down.

“He (Benson) makes so many demands,” Encarnado said. “It’s ok to make demands, but when you try to threaten the management of not playing (well) because you didn’t get something that you demand, that’s not right.”

“We don’t deserve this. I thought all along that he’s a professional, but he’s not. We cannot sacrifice the integrity of the team and the league,” he added.

The Kings’ point production was conference-high (113) while the 28-point margin was the worst this season for the Realtors.

“It was a relief (Benson’s absence),” Ginebra mentor Jong Uichico said. “Nabawasan ang sakit ng ulo namin. But we actually prepared na nandun s’ya.”

The Kings took a 28-21 advantage. The lead ballooned to 13 (56-43) at halftime. A jumper by Caguioa gave them their biggest lead at 101-68 with 6:10 to play.

Kelly Williams, with 23 points and 11 boards, led SLR, which won its first four sudden-death games this season including two in the wildcard this conference. (Source: PBA Site)

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