PBL: VIVA OUSTS BLU FOR SEMIS SLOT

Pasig City, May 21, 2003 -- Viva Mineral Water bounced back with a 
vengeance yesterday and humbled Blu Star 71-56 to capture the last 
semifinals seat in the Sunkist-PBL 2003 Unity Cup at the Pasig Sports Center.

Dennis Miranda and Joel Co played crucial roles in the big win that sent 
the Water Force to the next round in the company of Hapee Toothpaste, 
John-O and Montana Jewels.

Miranda, who played an all-around game with seven rebounds, two assists and 
two steals, drilled in 16 of his 23 points in the first half.

Co, who finished with 14 points, three rebounds, six assists and a block, 
buried nine straight points in the final three minutes to shatter the 
Detergent Kings' last ditch rally.

"We gave our best, we forgot about last Saturday's loss to Blu and told the 
boys to work harder for this game. It's a big blessing that we've reached 
this far, considering that we're a new team. The glory belongs to God," 
said Viva coach Koy Banal.

Miranda joined hands with Jason Misolas as Viva went on a 13-6 start and 
later fired a buzzer-beating 40-foot triple as the Water Force took an 18-9 
lead in the first quarter.

The Water Force later led by as many as 17 at 31-14 on Warren Ybanez' trey 
with 5:25 remaining in the second period and controlled the game from thereon.

The closest Blu could get to was at 52-60 with 3:10 left in the game. Co 
singlehandedly carried a 9-0 run that ended all hopes for Blu 69-52 with 47 
seconds left.

Blu scored a 77-71 win last Saturday to force yesterday's knockout match.

The scores:

Viva 71 - Miranda 23, Co 14, Misolas 11, Jones 10, Ybanez 8, Isip 3, Razon 
2, Zablan 0, Napa 0, Sinco 0, Margate 0.

Blu 56 - Hernandez 8, Lopez 0, De la Cuesta 8, Gatumbato 8, Mendez 7, 
Taguines 6, Pascual 6, Prior 3, Garcia 2, Gamboa 0.

Quarterscores: 18-9; 42-27; 52-44; 71-56

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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