SLR 91, PF 93

On: 03 May 2009

PBA Fiesta 2009

Kerby Raymundo scored 20 points and had 12 rebounds and James Yap added 17 including the go ahead 3-point play that propelled the Purefoods TJ Giants to a 93-91 victory past the Sta. Lucia Realtors 01 May 2009 at the Araneta Coliseum.

In a game that turned exciting in the fourth quarter and with imports of both teams fouling out in the finals two minutes, defense became the key for the Giants, who fell behind by 14 points late in the third quarter.

"We just played basketball in the fourth quarter. We were too complacent knowing that (Kelly) Williams and (Nelbert) Omolon were out for tonight’s game. We played with fire and we almost got burned. Good thing James (Yap) hit that fastbreak," said Purefoods Ryan Gregorio of the decisive play that gave the Giants the momentum.

The Realtors held an 88-84 lead with 3:07 remaining but went scoreless in the next three minutes.

During that span, Rico Villanueva and Raymundo scored three free throws between them before keying the decisive play that turned their fortunes around.

The play started with Villanueva knocking the ball from behind Dennis Espino and Raymundo picking up the loose ball and kicking it to James Yap, who quickly rushed downcourt and scored over Marlou Aquino and got fouled by the latter. James knocked the bonus free throw to give Purefoods a 90-88 lead with 16.8 seconds left.

It was the second straight victory for the Giants since Marquin Chandler (11 points) replaced Jahmar Thorpe. They improved to 6-4 (win-loss) record tying the Realtors at second spot behind unbeaten leader San Miguel Beer (8-0).

The Giants played catch up for most part of the game and their hope for a victory appeared bleak when Chandler fouled out with a little over two minutes left.

"Obviously Marquin didn’t have the legs tonight after playing 45 minutes in his debut Wednesday. But James and Kerby lifted the spirits of their teammates," Gregorio said.

Peter Jun Simon and Roger Yap scored 13 points apiece for the Giants, who played their second game in three days.

The Realtors posted the game’s biggest lead at 70-56 on a 3-pointer by Ryan Reyes with 3:51 left but their offense went sour the rest of the way and the fouling out of Anthony Johnson with 1:37 to play made matters worse.

Johnson led all scorers with 26 points while Reyes and Espino added 14 each for the Realtors, who only shot 4 of 14 (28 percent) from the field in the fourth and committed four turnovers, two by Espino.

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