PBL GAME 5: THIS ONE'S FOR ALL THE MARBLES

RICHIE ALVAREZ OF HAPEEManila, June 19, 2003 (MALAYA) After winning Game 4 last Monday, Hapee Toothpaste is supposed to have regained the momentum and would be the favorite when it clashes with Viva in the deciding match of the Sunkist-PBL 2003 Unity Cup today at the Pasig Sports Center.

Coach Junel Baculi, however, is convinced the final match of the best-of-five showdown is still anybody's game.

"You may have seen the best of us, but we have not yet seen Viva Mineral Water to the fullest. It's one underrated team that turned out to be the biggest surprise this conference. I have so much respect for them for getting this far," said Baculi.

"I don't want to be caught by surprise in Game 5. The past four games gave them the needed experience so, everybody's equal here. We have to control the match, set the tone from the start and play good defense," he added.

Viva coach Koy Banal said he and his charges were surprised by the intensity displayed by the Teeth Sparklers en route to an overwhelming 80-65 win in Game 4.

"Nagulat kami sa lakas nila. It will be a matter of motivation. The team with the better desire to win the title will prevail. We have to do something about their transition and their zone defense," said Banal.

"We have to get into Game 5 with the right attitude, bring our A-game because there's no tomorrow," Banal added.

The match will be aired live simulcast over the National Broadcasting Network and Solar Sport Channel 29.

Stopping Allan Salangsang and Eugene Tan will be the biggest concern of Banal and his charges. Salangsang proved indefatigable in Game 4, coming up with 20 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Tan also played big with nine points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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