SLR 109, RoS 100

On: 27 March 2009

PBA Fiesta 2009

Just as head coach Boyet Fernandez proclaimed on the eve of their scheduled encounter, the Sta. Lucia Realtors slowed down Rain or Shine with their defense.

But when the going got tough, their timely 3-point shooting made the difference and propelled the Realtors to a 109-100 victory – their highest output this conference -- Friday (27 March 2009) at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Anthony Johnson came up short of a double-double for the first time in seven games with 34 points and nine rebounds while Norman Gonzales added 17 and 10 boards of splendid effort as the Realtors picked up their second straight win and fifth in seven games in the 2009 Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference.

The duo also accounted for eight of their team’s 14 3-point shots that spoiled repeated rallies by the Elasto Painters, who appeared like dead in the second quarter but slowly clawed back and provided the Realtors an exciting challenge.

Sta. Lucia went 14-of-30 from behind the arc with Johnson going 3-of-6 and Gonzales making 5-of-8 attempts.

“We’ll take it. I’m still happy that we walked away with the win,” offered Fernandez, referring to the 24-point second quarter advantage his troops blew.

The Realtors went to business right ahead, throwing Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino to defend against Jai Lewis. The plan worked perfectly as the Rain or Shine import struggled to gain his rhythm and eventually lost his effectiveness when he picked up his fourth foul with 7:57 remaining in the third quarter.

Because he was busy defending, Espino took just nine attempts and scored 11 points before fouling out with seven minutes remaining while Aquino, playing his best basketball likely since his varsity years, contributed 10 and had six blocks to typify Sta. Lucia’s no-nonsense defense. Johnson also had four rejections.

The Realtors appeared to have the victory sealed when they coasted to a 44-24 advantage midway in the second quarter.

But their offense suddenly went sour, going without a field goal in the last 3:54 of the third, enabling the Elasto Painters to complete a 16-0 run that cut Sta. Lucia’s lead to 49-41 at halftime.

Sol Mercado scored a personal conference-best 27 points and had five assists to show the way for the Elasto Painters, who had four-game winning streak snapped and fell into a second place tie with the Realtors behind unbeaten San Miguel Beer (6-0) heading to the league’s RP-Australia Goodwill series and Holy Week break.

Lewis, who will fly to the US Sunday for week-long break, recorded his fifth consecutive double-double with 23 points and 15 rebounds and Gabe Norwood added 12 and 10 boards.

Jireh Ibanes scored 12 points and his third 3-pointer of the night shoved the Elasto Painters to a 57-56 lead with seven minutes to play in the third.

The Elasto Painters didn’t take long in the driver’s seat, though.

Johnson made a technical free throw after Ibanes was whistled for flagrant foul-penalty one and Paolo Mendoza added two more before Espino knocked in a huge 3-point shot to cap an 8-0 run and put the Realtors ahead to stay, 63-57.

0 comments on "SLR 109, RoS 100"

Post a Comment