SLR 93, Ginebra 88

On: 17 December 2009

Josh Urbiztondo

Jason Urbiztondo came into the game with the mindset of giving Johnny Abarrientos the highest respect - just off the court though and not inside of it. It paid off.

The Fil-Am rookie guard played inspired game ranged against the eminent Abarrientos, piling up a game-high 22 points as Sta. Lucia Realty repeated over Barangay Ginebra, 93-88, to close in on the leaders in the KFC PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum Wednesday night (16 December 2009).

"He's heard a lot about Johnny even back in the United States. He knows Johnny is a great point guard and he's honored to play him. For him not to be awed, we talked to him before the game. We challenged him in his match-up with Johnny," said Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez.

"We prepared his frame of mind. Basta sabi namin give the utmost respect to Johnny outside the court. Pero sa loob ng court, wala na munang respeto. Just play hard," Fernandez added.

Urbiztondo responded well to the challenge, leading all scorers with 22, including 10 in the payoff period. He knocked in four triples in the game and canned in four charities in the last 24 seconds, helping the Realtors seal their repeat win over the Kings. Sta. Lucia clobbered Ginebra, 93-72, in their previous tiff.

Kelly Williams hauled down a career-high 19 rebounds and added 13 points while Nelbert Omolon had his own double-double game with 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Realtors notched a second straight win following a 98-92 drubbing of the Coca-Cola Tigers Friday.

With a 7-5 win-loss card, the Realtors are now only half-game behind the Kings, the Talk n Text Tropang Texters and the Purefoods Giants who are tied at 8-5.

"It was a big win that got us close to the leaders. We intend to continue to work hard and see what happens," said Fernandez.

Sta. Lucia and Ginebra figured in a fierce match with the Realtors pulling through in the end on a 9-3 closing run. The Realtors were down by one, 84-85, when Omolon, Joseph Yeo and Urbiztondo combined for seven unanswered points pushing SLR ahead to stay at 91-85.

Marlou Aquino had his contribution on key defensive stops on Eric Menk at the finish. Sta. Lucia made the key defensive adjustment, putting Aquino on Menk after the Ginebra slotman had bulldozed his way to 16 points against Gabby Espinas and Jason Misolas.

Menk fired 12 points in the final quarter with the last capping a charge that pushed Ginebra ahead at 85-84. (SB)

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