REALTORS NOT UP TO FORM VS. TIGERS?
Manila, June 22 2003 By Nelson Beltran (Star) Sta. Luciaís throngs came to watch the game Friday night wearing t-shirts with printed words saying: "Proud To Be Pure Homegrown." Whether they came home proud with what the Realtors showed on the playing court is the big question, though.
Kenneth Duremdes didnít hide his disappointment, saying his teammates treated the game like a non-bearing contest.
And the grounded Sta. Lucia star has seemingly accepted their imminent downfall in the Samsung PBA All-Filipino Cup Final Four, unless he could recover from his injury and return to action possibly starting in Game Three Wednesday.
Game Two is set today at the Araneta Coliseum and Duremdes could only hope his teammates come out with renewed energy and enthusiasm to have a chance at getting back at the Coca-Cola Tigers.
The Tigers pounded the Realtorsí lackadaisical showing Friday, pulling off an 85-70 rout for the decisive head start in their best-of-five series.
Talk N Text outlasted Alaska Milk, 115-109, in overtime in the opener of their own semis showdown. The two teams are expected to figure in another fierce duel in Game Two tonight.
"Parang non-bearing game ang laro. Eh, semis na ito dapat nakikipagpalitan ka ng mukha sa court," rued Duremdes, who couldnít do anything on the bench with a strained calf muscle.
"Ang game face, walang galit. Maling galit ang ipinakita sa court," added Duremdes, referring to the flagrant fouls committed by Marlou Aquino, Jason Webb and Gerard Francisco. The three players are facing possible fines for their unsportsmanlike acts.
Sta. Lucia team manager Buddy Encarnado was reportedly also disappointed with his teamís showing. He was quoted as saying his players are "asar-talo" for resorting to hard fouls while the Tigers were on the way to wrappiSng up the win.
"Nakaka-disappoint talaga. Kung nandoon ako, hindi siguro ganon ang laro. Pwede ko sigurong baguhin ang tempo at pace ng game namin," said Duremdes, who was shooting at the Sta. Lucia gym when contacted by The STAR.
Though having a relatively easy time disposing of Sta. Lucia Friday, Coca-Cola coach Chot Reyes refused to count the Realtors out this early.
"Weíre also unhealthy. William Antonio is nursing a pulled hamstring. Si Johnny (Abarrientos) naman, ankle naman ang masakit na ngayon," said Reyes.
"We just hope to keep on plugging. We canít allow ourselves to be dragged in a pace in which Sta. Lucia wants to bring the game. Kapag ganon ang nangyari, ido-dominate kami ni Marlou (Aquino) at Dennis (Espino)," Reyes added. "Kailangan tumama ang tira namin sa labas para umalis sila sa zone (defense)."
Both teams actually shot poorly from the field with the Realtors hitting at a 33.3-percent clip and the Tigers slightly better with a 35.8-percent shooting.
The Tigers outclassed the Realtors in the hustle board, getting 55 rebounds, 26 points off Sta. Luciaís errors and 10 points off offensive rebounds. The Realtors only had 44 rebounds, seven second-chance points and eight off the Tigersí turnovers.
Rudy Hatfield and Rafi Reavies used their quickness in dishing out double-double games. Hatfield came up with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Reavies got away with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Francis Adriano, taking over Duremdes at off-guard spot, made 19 points to pace the Realtors. Espino and Aquino combined for 20 points and 16 rebounds.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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