Manila, May 23, 2003 (MALAYA) By NOLI CORTEZ - Barangay Ginebra is doing everything it could to ensure that slotman Alex Crisano, who has tested positive for illegal drugs, takes the right path.

A Gin King official yesterday said they have drawn up a three-phase program geared to help Crisano recover and erase the stigma of his offense, which has earned him an indefinite suspension.

The main point of the program, said the official who requested anonymity, is to clear Crisano's mind before he enters a rehab facility within the month.

"The whole team is behind him and trying to help him solve his problems. Para kapag pumasok na siya ng rehab, fully concentrated siya sa recovery niya," said the official.

"So far, he has been very receptive to the whole thing."

The 6-foot-7 center tested positive for shabu during a random test last April 22. Aside from the indefinite suspension, he has been ordered by the PBA to undergo rehabilitation.

Crisano had initially denied the result of the test, claiming the traces of the illegal drug could have been due to the vitamin supplements he had been taking.

The official said the first phase of the program is to have surprise urine sample tests on Crisano. Two previous tests on the cager had yielded negative results. A third random testing is scheduled within the month.

The second phase involves psychiatric sessions that would help Crisano with his worries, mostly dealing with problems with his family, and prepare him for his entry in a rehab facility. Another player, Red Bull's Jimwell Torion, is already undergoing rehab.

"In there, he would continue to receive counseling," said the official.

The PBA, added the official, would be regularly informed of Crisano's progress.

Talk N Text's Norman Gonzales, the other player who had been suspended indefinitely by the league for drug use, tested negative last Thursday when the Phone Pals were tested by a Department of Health team in practice at the Reyes gym in Mandaluyong.

** After escaping with a hairline 76-75 victory over Sta. Lucia last Sunday in the Samsung PBA All-Filipino Cup, FedEx got everything it needed and many thought the team would have to go to great lengths to look for motivation to win its last two games.

"There's always an incentive to win. Hindi naman dahil nakuha na namin 'yung gusto namin, wala nang incentive to win. We still want to go out there and win as many games as possible," said Express coach Derrick Pumaren.

Today, FedEx plays San Miguel at the Makati Coliseum hoping to bag bragging rights in Group A and earn a chance to keep intact the second longest winning streak this season.

Coca-Cola and Sta. Lucia duel in the nightcap with more at stake. Although both teams have been assured of quarterfinal stints, an automatic slot to the Asian Invitational is foremost on their minds.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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