ALL-STARS TRIP RUSSIANS IN JONES CUP; NCAA HOSTILITIES RESUME TODAY
Taipei, July 17, 2002 (STAR) The MBA All-Stars opened up its campaign in the 25th William Jones Cup on a high note, toppling the much taller Russian club Lokomotive Novosibirsk, 78-68, in the lone game played at the Taipei Physical Education College (TPEC) Gymnasium Monday night.
The game was close all throughout with the Filipinos needing a strong finish to beat the Russians, third-placers in last year’s Jones Cup, and 79-90 losers against the South Korea Military Team last Saturday.
It was a revenge of sorts for the Filipinos after the same Russian squad whipped the Laguna Lakers, 81-71, in the battle for third place last year.
Reynel Hugnatan of the RCPI Negros Slashers summoned all his strength underneath to outplay his bigger Russian defenders and lead the Filipinos with 17 points on a 6-of-10 shooting from the field. Peter June Simon of the Professional Davao Eagles added 14 points while LBC Batangas Blades stalwarts Eddie Laure and Alex Compton were the other Filipinos in double digits with 12 and 11, respectively.
Seven-footer Denis Sevastianov led the Russians with 16 points and 13 rebounds while Konstantin Guerassimov added 13 points.
The win placed the Filipinos just half-a-game behind early leaders SINA Lions of China and Great Mates of Australia, both with clean 2-0 win-loss cards. The Filipino pros were locked in a battle with the University of Alberta Golden Bears at presstime yesterday. The Bears are the reigning Canada Inter-University Athletic Union (CIAU) men’s basketball champions.
The MBA All-Stars will face host and defending champion Chinese-Taipei NT this afternoon at 5:30 also at the TPEC Gym. The hosts are still winless in two games, bowing to Japan (72-74) and Australia (85-93) and were set to face the Russians last night.
The MBA All-Stars are expected to get a big morale boost with the arrival of MBA president Jean Henri Lhuillier in time for today’s important game. Cebuana Lhuillier Gems general manager Danny Francisco will accompany him.
NCAA hostilities resume today The Philippine Star 07/17/2002
With the bad weather gone and the elections over, the 78th NCAA basketball season resumes today after four consecutive cancellations with College of St. Benilde clashing with 2001 Final Four qualifier Mapua at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The Blazers, the 2000 champions, gun for a third straight win against the Cardinals at 4 p.m. hoping to make a fitting follow-up to their 74-72 decision over defending champion San Sebastian Stags two weeks back.
The Altas and the Knights, who last won a crown three years ago when Purefoods’ Kerby Raymundo was still around, are likewise seeking to come out of a big group at second as the two collide in one of the two seniors’ matches at 2 p.m.
Letran has an edge in terms of firepower as it is expected to rely heavily on its two gunners Ronjay Enrile and Harold Sta. Maria
.dged host San Beda, 79-77, in overtime.
Attention, however, is expected to focus on the game between St. Benilde and Mapua, two teams expected to give reigning titlist San Sebastian a run for its money.
The Blazers, for one, have remained with players who are remnants from the champion squad of 2000 – Sunday Salvacion, Alex Magpayo, Ronald Capati, Jan Coching, Loreto Tolentino, Bernard Perlas, Titus Mendoza and Edward Castro.
Like Dong Vergaire’s boys, the Cardinals have a lot of players from last year’s roster – Roberto Lagar, Edsel Feliciano, Erwin Sta Maria, Christian Guevarra, Raymond Dula, Ryan Malig and 6’7" Gerald Roxas.
Riding the crest of its two straight wins, St. Benilde is fancied over Mapua but Vergaire would like to think otherwise. "Pareho lang kami ng lakas, ang lamang lang namin ay nakadalawang sunod na kami."
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
2002 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS
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