PBL: VIVA, SUNKIST, HAPEE TIE FOR LEAD

Pasig City, May 28, 2003 -- Viva Mineral Water kept its composure under 
tremendous pressure down the stretch and survived Montana Jewel, 82-74, to 
gain a share of the lead in the Sunkist PBL Unity Cup at the Pasig Sports 
Center yesterday.

Hapee Toothpaste repulsed John-O's rally in the final three minutes for a 
69-62 victory in the second game to forge a three-way tie for the lead.

Wesley Gonzales drilled in 12 of his 20 points in the final half as the 
Teeth Sparklers avenged their 68-71 setback last April 12 and joined 
Montana and Viva on top with 2-1 records apiece.

Dennis Miranda scored 10 of his 14 points in the final quarter, leading the 
Water Force to their second win in three games in the semis.

"This time, we emphasized the value of positive attitude. No revenge, no 
payback. We just gave our 100 percent in the game," said Viva coach Coy Banal.

Montana stuck close, 68-70, on Jon Dan Salvador's basket in the final 4:13 
but two crucial miscues by Gary David paved the way for Jeff Napa's charity 
and Miranda's triple that erected Viva's 74-68 margin, with 3:20 remaining.

The Jewelers' misfortunes didn't stop there. David committed two more 
turnovers, Marlon Basco lost the ball to the baseline while Mark Magsumbol 
and Jigger Saniel fouled out consecutively in the ensuing play.

A lay-up by Francis Gerard Jones and free throws by Miranda and Ybanez 
further stretched the gap to 10, 80-70.

Montana dominated the boards, 44-35, and fared better in the field 
converting 28 of 64 attempts

Aside from Miranda, three other Viva players scored in double figures. 
Jason Misolas and Margate had 13 points apiece while Sinco added 11.

John-O reeled to its third straight setback. (Sar)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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