SLR 100, SMB 95

On: 20 November 2008

PBA's 34th Season

Notwithstanding the absence of two key players, Sta. Lucia Realty played like a champion team that it is versus San Miguel Beer.

Joseph Yeo and Norman Gonzales put in career-high outputs and the short handed Realtors sustained their improbable streak with a 100-95 upset of the Beermen last 19 November 2008 in the KFC PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.

Yeo and Gonzales dished out MVP-like performances to make up for the absence of reigning MVP winner Kelly Williams and 2007-08 Rookie of the Year awardee Ryan Reyes.

With a big lift from the two second-string players, the Realtors more than held their own against the fancied San Miguel team, notching a third straight win and their sixth in 10 games in all.

"We played not thinking about the pressure. We had nothing to lose, knowing everyone was expecting San Miguel to win," said Yeo who erupted for 38 points, topping his previous high of 29 made against Talk n Text during the wildcard round in the last Fiesta Conference.

Gonzales was also awesome as he scattered 25 points and completed his first double-double game in two years while also snaring 10 rebounds.

"Joseph and Norman stepped up and their energy rubbed off to their teammates," said Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez.

The Beermen suffered a second straight defeat but stayed at second behind the front-running Alaska Milk Aces (8-2) with a 7-4 card.

Sta. Lucia closed in on San Miguel as the Realtors avenged their 71-89 blowout by the Beermen in their first meeting last Oct. 30 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

They next play the Barangay Ginebra Kings Saturday with Williams and Reyes back in uniform.

"They're certainly dressing up Saturday. Kelly is likely to be back in action. We're awaiting a back brace for Ryan. If he's not yet ready, hindi namin pipilitin," said Fernandez.

With tremendous efforts from Yeo and Gonzales, the Realtors hardly missed the services of Williams and Reyes in getting even with the Beermen.

The Realtors outhustled and outmaneuvered the Beermen in dominating the contest, enjoying as lead as many as 14 at 69-55 at the end of the third quarter.

Yeo, Gonzales and Paolo Mendoza made at least 10 points each as the Realtors took the half at 42-38.

Mendoza and Gonzales were perfect from the field in the opening quarter which also belonged to the Realtors at 29-24.

Ken Bono came out strong in the second period, making eight points and four rebounds as the Beermen edged the Realtors, 14-13.

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