SLR 87, Titans 96

On: 02 March 2009

PBA Fiesta 2009

The Lina Group franchise got off to a triumphant start playing under a new banner.

The Burger King Titans introduced themselves in the pro league as they whipped the Sta. Lucia Realtors, 96-87, in a road game kicking off the Motolite PBA Fiesta Conference at the Lamberto Macias Sports Center, Dumaguete City last 28 February 2009.

The Titans, formerly the Air21 Express, pulled away from a close game midway through the third quarter and went on to win the contest, the first in a series of road games featured in the “PBA Phoenix Fuel on Tour.”

Gary David, Shawn Daniels, Arwind Santos and Cyrus Baguio all scored at least 12 points each as the Titans negated Anthony Johnson’s 32-point explosion, getting a winning start under coach Yeng Guiao and team manager Eric Arejola.The Titans came through with a balanced game and upended a Sta. Lucia side which ran out of gas playing minus injured key players Dennis Espino and Ryan Reyes.

The two teams engaged in a close battle in the first 30 minutes of play before the Titans got away with decisive runs, turning a 49-58 deficit to an 87-73 spread midway through the fourth quarter.

David and Daniels teamed up with second-stringers Marvin Cruz, Chad Alonzo and JR Quinahan as the Titans uncorked a 17-3 salvo to surge ahead at 66-61.

The Realtors came within one, 71-72, at the start of the final period before Beau Belga and Egay Billones took their turns to carry the cudgels for the Titans, pushing BK 14 points up at 87-73.

Johnson, a former Coca-Cola import, tried to rally the Realtors at the finish but the closest they could get was at 83-89 with 3:35 left to play.

The Titans all but settled the outcome of the game as Baguio knocked in a jumper, Belga nailed a charity then Wynne Arboleda scored on a breakaway layup in the ensuing plays.

David finished with 16 points, pacing the Titans who drew 14 from Daniels, 13 from Santos and 12 from Baguio.

Belga, a transferee from Purefoods, made nine points in his first game with his new team.

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