SLR 78, PF 88

On: 24 January 2010


Purefoods completed a four-game romp at the close of the KFC PBA Philippine Cup elimination phase Friday night, gaining automatic entry into the quarterfinals with an 88-78 win over Sta. Lucia Realty at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo last 23 January 2010.

The Giants dominated the Realtors in the second half, thus, towing the Talk n Text Tropang Texters to an outright passage into the quarters while relegating Sta. Lucia to the wild card phase.

The knockout wild card plays begin Sunday in the same venue with the Realtors and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters clashing at 4 p.m. then the Burger King Whoppers and the Coca-Cola Tigers mixing it up at 6:30 p.m.

The winners advance to another do-or-die duel Wednesday to determine which team battles Purefoods in the quarterfinals.

Purefoods eliminated complication that would've forced a playoff as it fought with great resolve and notched the win that sent the team to No. 3 finish in the double-round elimination phase.

Earlier, Alaska Milk drew level with San Miguel Beer on top with identical 13-5 win-loss slates following a 95-94 nail-biter of a win over Rain or Shine.

Purefoods and Barangay Ginebra were next at 12-6, followed by Talk n Text at 11-7, Sta. Lucia at 10-8, Burger King and Coca-Cola at 6-12, Rain or Shine at 4-14 and Barako Bull at 3-15.

"Although our real target is an outright semis entry, we're happy to be at No. 3 for an automatic passage into the quarters," said Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio.

"The ultimate goal is to be on top at the end of the tournament. We'll certainly pursue it as we go into the playoffs," Gregorio added.

Sta. Lucia coach Boyet Fernandez was disappointed they missed the top five. Nonetheless, he remained confident they can make a run and get into the quarters via the backdoor.

The Giants played a solid game all night, frustrating the Realtors in their bid to get a playoff crack at an outright quarters entry.

James Yap, KG Canaleta, Roger Yap, Mark Pingris and Kerby Raymundo all scored in double figures with the rest helping the team put in together a tremendous effort on the defensive end.

"We're convinced playing good defense is the key to beat Sta. Lucia. We did just that," said Gregorio.

"We wanted Marc Pingris to stop Kelly (Williams). He did that assignment and gave us a bonus with crucial baskets," Gregorio also said.

Pingris made 11 points and was largely responsible in holding down the Sta. Lucia ace player to the same output he made.

Ryan Reyes, the other half of Sta. Lucia's dynamic Fil-Am duo, was held scoreless.

The Giants engaged the Realtors in a defensive battle, trailing by four, in the first quarter, before surging ahead, 41-35, at halftime.

They established firm control in the third quarter and went on to complete the win giving Purefoods a four-game closing romp in the elims. (SB)

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