FEDEX OUSTS PUREFOODS FOR Q'FINALS BERTH

Pasig City, May 15, 2003 -- Purefoods was prepared for FedEx's Vergel 
Meneses flashing his familiar offensive flair. The Hotdogs were simply not 
prepared for the veteran forward being so unselfish when it counted most.

Meneses spotted Jerry Codinera for the game-winning basket in the last 
millisecond as the Express pulled off a 77-76 victory last night in the 
Samsung PBA All-Filipino Cup at the PhilSports Arena.

The victory was FedEx's ninth in 15 outings, the best in Group A and helped 
complete the quarterfinals qualifiers from the group.

Even if Purefoods, which dropped to a 5-11 record, sweeps its last two 
assignments, it could not hope to catch Sta. Lucia Realty. The Realtors 
have an even 8-8 slate.

Also given free outright tickets to the next round and joining FedEx and 
Sta. Lucia are San Miguel Beer and Alaska.

All because of a play in the last six seconds that everybody thought would 
have Meneses taking the final basket. He almost did, taking the ball near 
the top of the key and drawing a multiple team in the process.

That left Codinera free underneath and Meneses fed him for a right-handed 
kisser off the glass that went in almost at the same time as the gameclock 
expired.

The referees, after consultations among themselves and the table officials, 
then turned to the instant replay monitor for further verification.

After crew chief Ernie de Leon declared the basket counted, the whole FedEx 
team erupted in wild on-court celebrations with Meneses and Codinera at the 
center of it all.

"I-dra-drive ko talaga. Kaya lang, nakita ko si Jerry na open. Buti eksakto 
pala," said Meneses, who led all scorers with 23 points.

Codinera finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds despite spraining his 
right ankle with only 1:35 left in the second quarter.

Andy Seigle had to sit out the entire second quarter due to early foul 
trouble, but still led Purefoods 20 points and 13 boards.

The scores:

FIRST GAME

FedEx 77 - Meneses 23, Codiņera 16, Ritualo 10, Yap 9, De Ocampo 6, 
Ortiguerra 4, Arboleda 4, Rodriguez 2, Billones 2, Ejercito 1, Ferriols 0, 
Bernardo 0.

Purefoods 76 - Seigle 20, Raymundo 12, Santos 12, Patrimonio 11, Mamaril 7, 
Demape 6, Evangelista 5, Castillo 3, Fernandez 0.

Quarterscores: 24-18; 33-41; 58-59; 77-76. (Malaya)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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